Thursday, March 30, 2017

“Life is not just about the good things or not just about the bad things. It is both. It all depends where you focus your attention.” ― Ann Marie Aguilar

Power went out around eight o’clock in the morning.  Container for petrol (gasoline) had sprung a leak and was empty.  Needed new container and five gallons of gas.  Crown fell out during breakfast.  Sharp tooth edges cut my tongue and caused bleeding.  Bwana Masele (a good friend of our family for many years) is dying in the hospital and needed 700,000 Tsh (about $350) to pay his bills so he could die at home (hospital will not release a patient until the bill is paid).  Member of the church asked if we could pay the rent for the new pastor for the next three months, so he could move here.  Propane ran out, so no fire on the stove to cook food and make coffee.  John had to disconnect the internet for several hours while he worked on a project.  You’d think this would be the start of a bad day, but you’d be WRONG.  When the power went out, the new generator started quickly and quietly provided power until the national power came back a couple of hours later.  We learned of a problem (leaking petrol container) and fixed it while getting enough petrol to last if the power was out all day.  Called my dentist in Musoma, and he agreed to bring all the stuff and come to Bunda on Friday—saving me a trip and some embarrassment as there are no western toilets where he works (I now have to have one almost once an hour).  A house call from a dentist!  Is that not God at work?  So, petrol problem fixed, new supply in place, and main power back on in about two hours.  Hamna shida (no problem exists).  Dentist is coming here to my house on Friday.  Bwana Masele’s family raised the money for him (we didn’t have it), but we were able to send him some funds to help with his transport from the hospital—he and his family were very grateful.  We had more propane in the shed because this happens once a month, and, thanks to Shaban, we always have two tanks full and waiting to be used.  John had the internet back up and running in no time and had to disconnect it so he could finish a project for rural solar users—and he did.  Turns out the church only needed about $20 to pay the pastor’s rent for the whole three months, and I had that at hand.  That horrible, terrible day turned out to be just a regular day where blessings filled in all the holes that life could dig for us.  
So often, bad days are really just a matter of perspective and are frequently (for us at least) confirmation that we are doing what God wants us to be doing.  We are thankful that we had the money on hand for a new petrol container and the money to fill it.  We are thankful that we only had to run the generator for two hours and not all day.  We are thankful the new pastor found a cheap place to live.  We are thankful for Bwana Masele’s family and that we were able to help.  We are thankful for John and his helping the rural poor get solar power.  We are thankful that Shaban had the foresight to make sure we always had back-up propane.  Hamna shida.  No real problems existed, just ways for us to see our blessings.  Maybe you need to look around and see how God is taking care of you instead of complaining about the problems you see filling your life.  If you do, I think you will find that God is handling all the big problems, and you are wasting time worrying about little ones.  If you love God and live like it, you won’t have horrible, terrible days all that often.  You find a lot more good things if you look for them than if you are intent on seeing all the cracks in the sidewalk, eh?
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