Hallelujah, we now have a nice warm house again – and goodness, do we appreciate it! We are revelling in the luxury restored to us, glad that the mental stress and physical discomfort (especially for my mother) of the past week are gone, although there is now the pain to the purse: a boiler is not a cheap item to replace.
Inquiring about possible grants towards the cost, given my mother’s age and circumstances, I mentioned that we had hoped the boiler would outlast Mom. After informing me that there was no subsidy, the woman on the phone snapped, “Well, wouldn’t you rather have your mother still with you than the old boiler?” Put like that, obviously, I have to rejoice!
Thank God, the upheaval was not too great, the workmen were very pleasant and efficient, and in spite of their constant passage in and out, everything stayed clean.
A defunct boiler is a minor disaster compared to what many people are suffering, but I’m convinced that it’s generally beneficial to go through these minor ordeals now and then so that we appreciate just how fortunate we are most of the time.
“In all circumstances give thanks.“
That isn’t always easy to put into practice, but as I get older I am gradually coming to realise just what a wise recommendation it is. Be thankful not only for the good things that happen, or that a situation might be worse. It doesn’t mean like Pollyanna looking on the bright side, either, though my natural tendency is towards optimism.
It applies equally to the attitude we should adopt towards really bad things. These are what make us grow and mature, and it’s usually only with hindsight that we can assess that growth and learn to value the pain. If you need a sublime Christian example, think of how Jesus’ disciples must have felt as they watched him crucified. Yet without the crucifixion, there is no salvation.