Almost everyone in my inner circle knows I would rather not be living where I live. I easily blame 60% of the stress triggers in my life on the fact that I live there. When I ask my friends over, I use words like ‘when are you coming to Cameroon to see me’, even though I actually live in Lagos.
My house itself is comfortable and beautiful, if only I could carry it to some other part of Lagos. I tell anyone, willing to listen, how living there is not a smart choice – if you don’t run your own business or have absolute control over your time. The traffic is unending, the roads are narrow and when it rains, it’s time to wade. Blah, blah, blah I go on. The only good thing I see about living in that area is the amazing man with whom I live there.
Then this morning, I sat in the same bus with a colleague from work. Hardly a colleague, as I do not even know his name, never had any work relation with him. I just know we work for the same firm and might have said ‘hi’ at the lunch room once or twice. He lives in the same area as I do, as our chit chat in the bus revealed. Of course that revelation launched me into my lamentations about the area with full expectations that he would agree and we would together hold a pity party, bemoaning the fate that located us there.
I could not have been more wrong. Dude saw the cup not just half full but almost pouring over. He formerly lived in a choice area, in the heart of the island- the kind of place I would like to live. Then his forgetful neighbour and his forgotten plugged appliance burnt the house down. My colleague came home to no house. That was three weeks ago. In one week, he had to find a new place and new everything. He had to start over. That is how he got to live in the same area as me. Woah! Woah right!
The most interesting part is his outlook to the situation. He reeled out a long list of advantages he’s enjoying in his new location, started from the power supply to the availability of clean water you don’t have to buy, the cool calm air that comes from the presence of trees and nearness of the sea, the security we enjoy and simplicity of the people. What? We have all that and I didn’t notice? I have lived there for six months, he has lived there only two weeks and he has observed all the good things I enjoy everyday but never notice. Because my head is buried in the discomfort of the distance and all the perks, I have totally missed out on the pros and many blessings I enjoy.
Completely immersed in the guilt of my ingratitude, I cast my mind back to the last six months and I realise it could have been much worse. Now all I want to do is praise, I thank God for the house I live in. I’m grateful for the space I enjoy, the amenities that work, the clean borehole water. Thank you for the mango tree behind my window, for the efinrin and ewuro plants I cut from every now and then. Thank you for all the times I have complained that the food in the freezer is too frozen. Thank you for the affordable help that surrounds me. Thank you for Shadrach, the bike guy who takes me around the estate and the estate gatemen who greet me every morning before the day properly dawns. Thank you for the market that is not too far away and kekes that litter the streets. The more I think about it, the more I see reasons to be thankful.
Points of dissatisfaction are quite easy to see, no matter how tiny. Miracles on the other hand have to be larger than life to be obvious. Why? While I am still trusting God for a really nice house in a not-so-far place, I will henceforth be grateful for the miracle of where I currently stay and the blessings that surround me there.
What do you have to be grateful for today? Please share; let’s have a gratitude-party up in here.
Photo Credit: Karen Struthers | Dreamstime.com