Over the last couple of weeks the temperature has drastically dropped to Antarctic levels. I screamed in the street the other day when I thought I saw snow falling. You see the thing is I hate the cold, my wife hates the cold, EVERYONE hates the cold. Even if I feel the slightest breeze I’m reaching for the central heating, making sure my flat is an inferno.
However, last week a plumber came round to fix a minor problem with the radiators. Thirty minutes after he left I noticed there was a banging noise coming from one of the radiators and a slight drop in warmth around the flat. It wasn’t as toasty as it used to be. I used to be able to come out the shower and dry myself off just by taking a stroll around the flat.
Now I was met with a more mild, luke-warmish temperature.
I called up the plumber immediately and complained as my toes were starting to feel the slightest of breeze and the hair on my left arm had started to experience something I wasn’t used to in the flat – a chill. The plumber agreed to come while I was at work and rectify the problem, only for me to find the exact same problem when I returned from work.
I frantically ran up and down the flat, fiddling with radiator and boiler controls but to no avail. It was still warm…instead of HOT.
My anger inside started to warm me up, but not the flat.
Fast forward to today. I pop into a McDonald’s in Walthamstow and order a Big Breakfast and hot chocolate. As I sat down to devour the gourmet breakfast, I started to think about the homeless man I passed outside and was immediately gripped by shame and disgust at myself.
This man doesn’t have the promised hope of returning to a warm flat. He doesn’t have the choice between 25 or 30 degrees. He doesn’t have a boiler to fiddle with or a radiator to examine. He has no shelter, no respite from the icy breeze, he doesn’t even have the luxury of lukewarm… he only has THE COLD as his warmth.
As I thought about it deeper, I realised I too am only a couple mishaps away from ending up on the streets. It could so easily be me out there on the streets.
At times, the smallest comforts are the biggest luxuries in the eyes of the less fortunate.
Sometimes we have to really look up from our phones, look around us and appreciate the things we have, that seem to be the norm; to truly grasp how privileged we are.
I looked back at the hot chocolate and said to myself, “He needs it more than you!”
As I handed him the hot chocolate, I realised that this wasn’t a lesson in how to be charitable as much as it was a lesson in how to be grateful. This wasn’t a picture perfect moment to post on Instagram to brag about my goodness. This was an opportunity to examine my lack of gratitude.
So here it goes. Thank you God for:
A job to go to
Carpet for insulation
Thank you God for everything.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 New Living Translation (NLT)
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Until I Write Again…