Monday, June 03, 2013

What I learned when the power went out

Recently, a thunderstorm went through our town and knocked out our power. It happened right at 6 pm; thankfully, the gourmet food in the oven (frozen pizza) was finished, so dinner wasn’t a bust. We ate, expecting the lights to come back on at any moment. When they didn’t, we went about the business we could – reading by the light of the setting sun. No laundry, no ironing, no internet. It was not entirely unpleasant. Because we thought the lights would flicker back any minute.

Any minute became 60 minutes which became 120, which turned into 180 (for you non-math types, that equals three hours - look at me, adding). By that time, Sean and Rebecca had turned in for the night and Michael was heading that way. Only Amy and I held out hope that the lights would pop on soon.

She was texting away as I took in the news and Twitter and Facebook, alternating between being happy I’d charged my iPhone to fretting that it was going to run out of juice. At the four hour mark, I posted my plight on Facebook:

Come on Consumers Energy, electricity, please, before we all head to bed. If not, we'll wake up in the middle of the night to the radio going and a house full of lights blazing.

Within minutes, I got a text from a friend, letting me know they had a generator that her husband would gladly drive to my house right then and hook up for us.

It was 10 at night. We don’t exactly live next door to this friend but she instantly offered to help.

Lesson 1: I have some really, really good friends. (Thanks, Bethany and Jon!)

Shortly after my Facebook post, the electricity cranked back through the house. Lights flashed on, the fridge whirred back to life and the microwave beeped at me until I set the time. And I started grumbling that all these electrical gadgets should have some kind of internal memory so I don’t have to reset the clocks when the power goes out.

Lesson 2: I have a serious attitude problem.

I went from being pleased as punch for good friends to complaining that I had to reset the clocks when the power came back. Seriously? I’m complaining that I have to set the clocks because the POWER CAME ON! Which was exactly what I’d asked for.

As I realized what I was thinking, the verses in 1 Thessalonians 5 came to mind:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

I was more than happy to give thanks when friends wanted to help, less so when inconvenienced.

Not pretty.

So today, I’m focusing on all the things I couldn’t use during the power outage, like my washing machine, dish washer, laptop, hair dyer, iron – and being purposeful in my thanksgiving. Because as Madame Blueberry says, "A thankful heart is a happy heart!"

What are you thankful for today?