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Simple Blessings


Every once in a while I am amazed by some simple blessing in our lives. For example, it is amazing to me that we can jump into our cars and travel in climate-controlled, music-filled comfort to our destinations with speed and ease. I get thinking how much I would like to take Brigham Young or one of the pioneers for a ride in our Honda Civic. He would be amazed! Imagine driving him across the country in only a few relaxed days instead of months of sun-baked, soul-blistering plodding.

But then I realize that Brigham certainly has a mode of transportation now that is far superior to our old compact car. In fact his mode of travel must be even better than a Mazda Miata! I don’t know just how immortals travel, but I suspect that it makes our cars look very provincial. While I don’t begrudge him his mode of transportation, I suspect that he would not be impressed by ours.

So my gloating falls flat.

But maybe there is an alternative to gloating: gratitude. Maybe we can feel blessed without needing to feel superior. Maybe Brigham would love to roll down the power window in the Civic and slap the side of the car as we zoom across prairie and plain. Maybe his appreciation does not depend on comparisons but on the simple realization that we are surrounded by blessings.

I’m glad for the blessing of our little Honda Civic. Let’s go for a ride, Brigham!

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10 Comments

  • Reply Lynn April 30, 2008 at 5:54 am

    This struck a note with me. As a single parent, I am frequently astounded at God’s generosity. I have an inexpensive 2005 car that I bought used; He also gave me the means to maintain it adequately, which is a relatively new development in my financial life. And I grin when I get behind the wheel. I bet Brother Brigham would love to hear the Book of Mormon on CD, or to sing along with Gladys Knight and the SUV choir. [I know I do!]

    • Reply admin May 2, 2008 at 10:36 am

      Beautiful! I love thinking of you and Brigham singing along with Gladys Knight!

      -Wally

  • Reply Kristen April 30, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Wow – coincidently or not, I have been thinking about cars also! We’re committed to never having another car payment, so my ‘new-car fund’ is slowly growing as we try to make our 10-year-old Nissan last. When I found out last weekend that a family member just bought a brand-new SUV with cash, I struggled with comparisons and desires. As I drove to church I MADE myself think about how grateful I was to have a car that runs, knowing there are so many who don’t have one or any resources to continue to fix the one they have. And to be grateful for a husband who rides his bike 14 miles every day to work.
    The Sacrament meeting talks that day were about adversity, and one speaker actually quoted someone who said how embarrassed he used to be about the car his family drove but the way he got over it was to be grateful for it instead. I was surprised then at how direct the lesson was for me, and now here it is again. Thanks for the confirmation.

    • Reply admin May 2, 2008 at 10:36 am

      Kristen, I like the idea: Transform disappointment into gratitude.

      -Wally

  • Reply Charmaine May 1, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I think in my lifetime transportation has improved to make me grateful. I remember traveling to Arkansas with my family in the middle of the summer with no air conditioning…and how the cars then would vapor lock in the heat and not start in the winter. We have come a long way baby and maybe our kids today who haven’t known the bitter of cars will not appreciate the sweet that they “expect” is their right now.

    • Reply admin May 2, 2008 at 10:37 am

      Good observation, Charmaine. Psychologists talk of a hedonic treadmill–once we have something we have wanted, we promptly start taking it for granted. This tendency keeps us from living in gratitude daily.

      -Wally

  • Reply Candleman May 4, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    In 1937 my Dad, 15, drove my grandmother, who didn’t know how to drive, from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. They began the trip at midnight and arrived at midnight; twenty-five hours! I read this in grandma’s journal and later, asked Dad about it. “25 hours! How did you stand it!” I asked. His reply, “Stand it? We were thinking of the Donner Party, Mom kept saying ‘Slow Down, Slow Down!'”

    • Reply admin May 7, 2008 at 11:39 pm

      Candleman,

      Yeah. It’s a matter of perspective. Of course the ultimate challenge is to get heaven’s perspective on all the experiences of mortality.

      Blessings to you,
      Wally

  • Reply Candleman May 10, 2008 at 12:35 am

    I’m not sure I’m there yet. At least I see through a glass darkly, when considering Heaven’s perspective. For now it is enough to trust that Heaven’s perspective is guiding, governing, righteous and perfect. For now, it is enough to let God do the seeing and just trust that He does.

    • Reply admin May 13, 2008 at 6:11 pm

      Sounds like a good example of faith. Thanks for your example.

      -Wally

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