Have you ever been at a place in life where you’re simply frustrated? Month after month, you run into the same problems with the same people. You’re tired of the same kid down the street causing your child angst… or maybe it’s the same guy on your team at work causing you the same stress?
It’s so easy to look at our lives and see what’s wrong. It’s easy to identify what we want to change. However, having just gone through 2 moves in 2 years, I want to encourage you to allow your eyes and heart to find the good in the familiar. While I can’t say I was frustrated with my previous circumstances, I see now that I didn’t appreciate them nearly enough.
In light of that, here are maybe the top 5 things you might be taking for granted (in reverse order!)…
5. Getting to… anywhere.
To be able to simply get in a car and drive to your destination. You know the short cuts and the bottlenecks. You know the time of day to travel. You know where the gas is cheap and where the pump never works.
4. Where to get your hair cut.
Need I say more?
3. Knowing what to expect.
The weather, the traffic, the workload, the culture, the cost, etc. It’s amazing how much emotional energy you save when you’re somewhere you’ve been before and you don’t have to have your antenna constantly up, discerning what’s next.
2. Familiar faces.
If you’ve never moved, you can’t truly appreciate how weird it is to be unknown. For a vacation, it can be kinda nice. We might dream of going somewhere that no one knows our story or reinforces a label we picked up along the way. It’s great to be free of relational responsibility at times and just fade into the crowd. But perhaps that’s true in theory. Not necessarily in practice.
Last week, I had an appointment with a woman I’d never met. The next Sunday, I saw her at church. We had shared one conversation, but that one conversation meant she knew some part of me. You’d have thought we were long-lost sisters from the way I greeted her… but there’s something powerful about the slightest hint of familiarity.
1. Being known.
There’s the familiar face… and then there’s someone getting who you are… warts ‘n’ all. Even if you have to endure familiar disappointments, within the familiar you get to see those who know how to encourage you and who have decided to love you.
Whether you’ve lived somewhere for a year or for decades, I encourage you to look with new eyes today at everything familiar. Don’t miss being thankful for what you have.