10% thankful

At church on Sunday, we had a sermon about the ten lepers in Luke 17. After Jesus healed them, only 10% came back to thank Him. What about the other 90%? All we really know is that they were healed on their way to the priest. Undoubtedly, they were grateful, but what did they do about it?

Ten percent versus ninety percent. I’m thinking in percentages because the story brings to mind tithes and offerings. I like to think that 10% is God’s and 90% is mine. I go my way with the 90%.

What would change if I started to live like the 100% belonged to God?

Just a thought as I consider how thankful or unthankful I am this Thanksgiving Day 2017.

We miracles that don’t look like miracles

Not long ago, someone told me, “Every story is beautiful.” “Of course!” I probably responded. All stories were beautiful, but some stories were fascinating: dreams and visions, persecution, bold statements of faith, etc. Those were the stories that captivated me. They still do.

But that someone was right by putting all stories on the same level. Because, as he went on to say, “God loves you just as much as He loves anyone else.” Right. Of course, but–

But it’s true. My redemption story is just as miraculous and beautiful even though I haven’t “stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword” (Heb. 11:33-34). In fact, many of the people who are in the Hebrews “Hall of Faith” lived lives of simple obedience rather than lives of excitement.

Those exciting stories are still fascinating. However, my challenge this week is to thank God for the redemption stories of the “normal” people around me.

Whether exciting or not, our stories are miraculous.

Ramadan blues

“Am I hungry or just bored?” I muse as I peer into the refrigerator.

Summer has set in where the nights rarely descend with a breath of cool air. It is warm all of the time. And what is worse is that I feel trapped inside. And what is even worse is that my roommate chose this month to travel to Germany, another friend left forever, one classmate is in the UK and another classmate is in Spain. I am trapped with myself.

I make plans here and there, but the reality is that any plans are contingent upon the time of day. The hours that are too hot are off limits because street robbers might prey on the few people who are out. The hours right before the breaking of fast are even worse; there are hardly any people or cars to be seen and a fog of silence enshrouds the street.

Even if I do go out, most stores would be closed anyway. And the cafés and restaurants definitely are.

Why didn’t I just go home for part of the summer? Never mind the long journey or the money. Maybe that would have cured some of my recent homesickness.

I am tired of studying on my own, reviewing, practicing, listening, jotting down notes. I am tired of the food in my fridge. I am tired of sleeping.

For a melancholy, boredom breeds self-pity. At least it does in this melancholy. The light at the end of the tunnel is fading. Ramadan will NEVER end! Instead of thinking how hard it would be to fast for thirty days, I think about how unfair it is to plan my life around those who are fasting.

Selfishness. Yes, it all comes down to a perspective saturated in selfishness. Time to go count my blessings.


Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash