In my Bible study group, the issue of gratitude has come up time and time again.  So today, I think I have gratitude on the brain, because I am feeling thankful for so many things.

First, I know we’ve become a society that relies on impersonal ways to communicate.  From email to banking online to online dating, you can do practically anything without actually standing in front of the other person.  However, I really appreciate the technology of text messaging!  It is so handy to be able to send a message to someone instantly, without disturbing the people around you.  You can check incoming texts without needing to leave a room, also.  I wish I could see my friends tonight, but I’m grateful for a text message that I receive letting me know that they can’t make it.

Second, SPRING!  Need I say more?

I am not a business person.  I’m not organized as much as I would like to be, and concepts involving money usually escape me.  So I am very grateful for people who are.  Two people that I’ve needed to contact in the last few days have had messages on their voice mail stating the date and whether or not these people were in the office today.  How convenient!  It would never occur to me to change my voice mail message at work on a daily basis. 

Finally, I’m thankful for freedom!  Let me explain.  On Saturday, I bought a car.  It is a wonderful used car, and I got a good deal.  This is my third car that I’ve ever purchased, replacing a leased vehicle that I’ve used all the miles on but I can’t give back (or stop paying for) yet.  On each of the three, I’ve experienced a phenomenon that I’ve decided to call the “first day syndrome.”  Within a couple weeks of buying my first car, I got into an accident.  Within a few days of buying the second one, which was brand new I might add, I had a flat tire.  (A brand new tire, that needed to be replaced within the first 100 miles of the car’s life!!!)  On the first day of having this car, I discovered that it doesn’t start very well or stay started unless I push the gas a little.  My brother tells me that this is not a big deal, nothing’s broken, someone just needs to adjust it so that the engine gets more gas going into it while the car is idling.  It’s a pain in the butt, but that’s about all. 

Here’s my point:  Despite the fact that this one isn’t brand new, despite it’s first day problem, despite the fact that the formerly brand-new car that I love is still in front of my building–I drive this car and I feel FREEDOM!  I got a good deal, so in a very short amount of time I won’t owe anyone any money for this car.  It’s not leased, so I have no obligation to the company.  I don’t have to keep it for a certain number of years.  I don’t have to give it back after a certain number of years, either!  I don’t have to get it serviced at certain times.  I can let this starting problem go as long as I please before I get it fixed.  If I accidentally scrape up against a pole or something, I can get it fixed, or not, it’s up to me.  Don’t read this and think that I’m going to drive 10,000 miles before changing the oil, or something like that.  The point isn’t that I can let all this stuff go.  The point is that it’s my decision, and my responsibility.  The consequences of whatever I decide fall squarely on me, and not on any contract that I have with anyone else.  FREEDOM! 

(On a side note, I am also grateful for leases.  I do think leasing is a really good deal for what you get.  Just make sure that you are getting what you need!  If you need something different than what a leased vehicle can provide, don’t do it!)


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