Lebanon Reporter

Columns

July 3, 2014

What gifts has God given you?

As I sit here preparing to write this week’s column I can feel the power of Mother Nature as she lights up the sky with lightning and pounds our eardrums with thunder. Next to beautiful spring and fall days, I think that I love the dark, wicked and stormy days the best of all. I love how our house that once was bright from the sun radiating in our windows suddenly becomes dark as night. It’s the perfect setting for an old-time horror movie. Has anyone besides myself ever wondered why in those scary movies it is almost usually storming violently and pouring down rain? Besides the usual normal stormy setting, fog always seems to appear somewhere in the movie. I guess that as long as the weather is pleasant and there are no bolts of lightning streaking across the sky, we don’t have any worries of being invaded by monsters with bolts in their necks or zombies stumbling around our yard. With my luck, they would most likely trample down my tomato and cucumber plants. If I were to confront one of those frightening freaks for stomping down my flower beds, they would probably just give me that dead zombie stare!I’ve often wondered what it is like to experience a storm for someone that has lost their sight. Their loss of sight would most likely not give them any warning of thunder that is about to strike since they couldn’t see the lightning striking first. But since the other senses that help us identify our surroundings become much more acute, I can imagine that someone blind could possibly smell the intense bolt of fire that comes from the sky before it reaches its targeted destination.Unfortunately, I am not blessed with any of my senses being more intense, since my disability is mainly the loss of mobility. But maybe, instead of acquiring a stronger sense of smell, taste, touch, sight or hearing, God has given me other things that I once did not have or just wasn’t aware of being blessed with. In late October of the year 2009, I had no idea that I would be writing a weekly column for The Lebanon Reporter by November. I’d pretty much been having my own private pity party because I had lost so much of what I was use to having. I had to give up driving, walking, working and so many other things. The biggest loss that had seemed to come my way, was the ability to wander the vast wilderness of our state. I had spent the biggest part of my life, from childhood on, meandering my way along marked and unmarked trails of many of our state parks. Many would tell me to “just concentrate on what I could do and not what I was unable to do,” but the list of what I couldn’t do was much longer than my list of what I was able to do, or so I thought. But, I had heard it said that “when one door is closed, another will open for you”. After several more months of self pity I think I finally figured out that quote was right on.I still have my days when I feel of little worth to my family or the world, but that is the wrong way to think and it is somewhat of a slap to God’s face. He creates everyone and there is a plan for all of us, but sometimes, due to our stubbornness or not paying attention, we don’t always find out what He has planned for us until much later in life. What a waste that is. If we would only open ourselves up to God while we are young, can you just imagine what we could accomplish in our lifetime?If there is one main point I should make clear in this week’s column I think it should be, don’t try to go through life on your own and only call on God when things seem to be really going rough for you. Why not take advantage of the endless gifts He has stored up for us?It’s not really all that complicated; you just have to simply ask Him to bless you in whatever way he sees fit. It may not always be what we think we want or need, and maybe we won’t be blessed with great financial riches because of the fact that many of us would not wisely manage our financial wealth. But, we can be richer in so many other ways! These gifts may be the ability to visit and comfort the sick or elderly, to be a good listener or give of your time and energy. The list is endless, and if we all just search our souls and keep in tune with God, we will soon find out what gifts he has bestowed on us. The more we open ourselves to God, the more gifts he will see fit to give to us, just as long as we use them wisely and are always thankful for his many blessings!Email Raymond L. Snoke at shark_guy2@yahoo.com.

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