Tonight I had a call from my friend Susan who is far away in the wilds of northern Ontario.
Up there they are sweltering in a heatwave some 10 degrees hotter than the Toronto area.
There's no air conditioning of course, but even if there was, today they had no power. The hydro failed after a storm and no one seemed in a hurry to get it back up and running. The taps weren't producing any water and no toilets could be flushed--and for supper tonight, she and her fellow camp counselors were going to resort to opening some cans of provisions as they had no means of cooking anything more elaborate.
My guess is that when they fly back home on Saturday--first on Bearskin airlines and then by Air Canada jet--after two weeks away they will experience reverse culture shock. Things taken for granted before--an abundance of hot water, fly screens without holes, a cool bedroom--these things will feel like sheer luxury.
Sometimes I fine tune my gratitude by imagining what life would be like without something or someone my life is blessed with right now.
This morning I tried to imagine life without God:
Without the comfort of his Presence
Without the peace that comes from knowing that he has a plan for my life that will be worked out even through times of inexplicable hardship.
Without the support of the prayers of others, at times when I am too weary or broken to pray for myself
Without the joy of finding my "place"--my purpose for being--flowing in it--know that he made me for this
Without the hope of heaven
Without the intimacy of relationship with him
Without the sense of that "great cloud of witnesses" who have gone before--cheering me on in the race
Without the gift of earthly friendships that will be eternal
Without the assurance of forgiveness for sin
Without the gentle rebuke and correction of the Holy Spirit
Imagining life without God, is--unimaginable! The very thought fills me with a terrible emptiness--and I am grateful--so very grateful--that I am his and he is mine.
1 John 3:1 (New International Version)
1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!