Name Them One By One
It was a typical Indiana spring day. Outside the house, it was raining.
Inside the house, it was raining. Water slowly dripped from the ceiling,
reminding me that when you replace your own roof, there's nobody to get mad
at when it leaks.
I should be a pretty good roofer, I spent two summers roofing when I was in
college. Of course that was in West Texas, where rainfall averaged 16.5
ounces a year (prior to last year's drought). Could it be that I was a
really bad roofer all along and just never had my work tested?
I opened the closet, took out my wife's green raincoat and my Indiana Jones
hat, and headed outside. I stood under the edge of the garage, looking
sternly up at the spot where the leak was, hoping that if I stared at it
long enough and hard enough it would stop. It didn't.
Out came the ladder, and up I went. I began squirting sticky black roofing
cement into the roof valley, pressing it into place with my finger. As I
worked, the rain continued to fall. Eventually, a perfect rain channel
formed down the back of my coat, funneling all the water that hit my back
directly down into the back of my pants.
And then it happened. As I stood there in the rain, I heard the bells at the
nearby retirement home begin to chime. And as the notes played, the words to
a great old hymn came into my mind: "When upon life's billows you are
tempest tossed . . ."
I began to smile as the song continued: "When you are discouraged, thinking
all is lost."
"Here it comes," I thought. The bells sang, "Count your many blessings, name
them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
I stood on the roof, soaking wet, my hands covered with tar, grinning and
singing, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many
blessings and see what God has done."
And so I did . . .
It was 75 degrees outside instead of 35. I had some extra roof cement in the
garage. The water could have leaked one foot away, onto the computer. I did
actually have an hour of unscheduled time available (softball practice was
rained out). All in all, as roof leaks go, it was a pretty small one. And
the bells reminded me of that.
You may read this and say, "Well, Mark's just one of those saccharine-sweet
smilers, a guy who always sees the glass as 'half-full'." Wrong!
My glass is completely full, and runs over every single day with blessings.
And while there are days that I'm too pig-headed or self-centered to see it,
most days I am amazed at what I have. And even though I don't know you, my
guess is that your days are mostly pretty good too.
"Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what
the Lord has done."
[ by: Mark Phillips -- from WITandWISDOM (firstname.lastname@example.org) ]
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