I want to share with you a story that carries a powerful message – and reminder – of something we all too often forget. And, although it may seem sad, or even tragic, the recognition it sparks gives me a renewed commitment to taking a moment every day to just be GRATEFUL.
When things are going along fine, our work productive, our families safe and healthy, our finances in good shape, it can be easy to take everything we have for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a real jolt to put us back on the path to appreciation and humble gratitude.
A week or so ago, I got an “all-too-real” reminder of just how precious our lives – and everything in them – can be! And while our “stuff,” like homes and cars and clothes and furniture DO make life easier and more pleasant, I want you to think about those other “valuables” in your life today. The “stuff” that cannot be so easily replaced and we sometimes put in “second place” behind all those outward signs of success!
When life happens, how do yourespond?
You can’t control circumstances or other people, but you can change your reactions to it. Don’t you wish you could be one of those strong individuals who seem to roll with every punch and easily see the silver lining in every situation? If you’re struggling to overcome obstacles in your life, awaken your inner strength and sieze this key to your success.
Which brings me back to this story: A young family, close friends of one of our DaniJohnson.com team members, had just moved into a home near their new business. It had everything! Enough bedrooms for all their children, a big yard for their dog, a view of the beautiful Guadalupe River, an awesome school district and finally a place this struggling family could call home.
So, while the mom and her two daughters were finishing the final cleaning of their previous residence – which they had been sharing for over two years with her mother – her husband and their four-year-old son were doing the “guy thing” out at their new home. And, in Texas on a summer weekend afternoon, that means firing up the backyard grill.
Now, you’ve probably gotten the picture of a nice, semi-rural place nestled on the edge of Texas hill country – trees, river and not the most convenient utility access. A lot of these folks rely on propane tanks as a major power and fuel source in the country. And this family had the standard large “household” propane tank, along with a couple of smaller, portable tanks.
Unfortunately, when the tank used for the barbecue grill was attached, a spark caused the whole thing to become one big ball of flames. The husband, seeing where this was going, IMMEDIATELY grabbed his little boy and the family dog and raced to safety just as fire ignited the large tank and quickly engulfed the entire house. They managed to get far enough away just as their family home literally exploded.
With his phone burned, the husband had no way to contact his wife and girls to let them know what happened, so an hour or so later the rest of the family came home to…nothing except the clothes on their backs! Now, many of us might be bitter or angry or wallow in self-pity. Some might definitely be questioning their faith, wondering why God would let this happen to them.
But, here’s where the story becomes absolutely amazing! The first words out of this mother’s mouth, the first message she sent to her closest family and friends, the first thing she did, was to THANK GOD! She got down on her knees, gathering her precious family around, and with a grateful heart thanked God for protecting her entire family.
And then, she asked all her friends and family to say prayers of thanks for the miracle of their safety. Not two weeks before, she and her husband had been sparred any major injuries in a car accident that had totaled their family vehicle.
If anyone has a right to be angry or bitter, most people would agree that she might be justified. But, instead, she has CHOSEN to see the blessings in each of these circumstances. She has repeatedly given thanks for the protection her family has personally experienced within a few short weeks. Talk about a POSITIVE MINDSET!
She understands that “stuff” can be replaced, but that her family cannot. She has put her priorities in the right order. She continues to place her faith and trust in something greater than herself. And, she continues to move forward, with a smile and an attitude of gratitude. Let’s be honest. In those same circumstances, how many people do you know who would you be grateful? How many would be thankful?
It gives me a moment to think about that. I spend time each day appreciating all the blessings I have in my life – the family I love and adore, the dedicated team I get to work with, the absolutely amazing clients like you who inspire me every day!