There’s nothing like losing something you have taken for granted to make you feel grateful. That’s how I felt this past week when the power went out at Casa Vargas, where we lost power for about 14 hours on Sunday and then again for a short time on Tuesday. We also lost internet and had intermittent cell service. I know many of you were without power or internet for even longer periods.
The first thing that upset me was my inability to make myself a cup of coffee (of course, I mean priorities). But then I also realized with horror that I could not communicate with friends and family, work on my sermon for Sunday, check my email, or record my weekly radio show. The food in my refrigerator was going to go bad, we couldn’t heat the house, and it was hard to read by flashlight. Needless to say, I was distraught and irritated.
But then the power came back on! And oh what a beautiful thing it was! Electricity and light at the flip of a switch! A stove that makes coffee in five minutes! A microwave that heats up my food in a matter of seconds! The ability to communicate with anyone I want instantly!
But wait, I also had a warm, toasty bed, a safe house in which to shelter, running water, and plenty to eat. These are things literally billions of people on the planet would give anything to have.
In fact, only 87% of the world’s population has access to electricity. Two billion people worldwide lack access to safely managed drinking water at home. 4.2 billion people—or three-fifths of the global population—do not have access to the Internet. And 821 million people—or one in nine people in the world—go to bed hungry every night. One in three suffers from malnutrition.
My irritation gave way to incredible gratitude. We are so incredibly fortunate.