Every September we vow we will replace it before next summer.  But then June hits and we have forgotten the agony it causes us.  We have forgotten the debilitating noise and the lost conversations, and now it’s too late.  Because it technically still works and because there are absolutely no sales going on, thus we are in for a long summer.

I’m talking about our main floor AC unit that is mounted in our dining room wall.  Gotta love old houses.

Now when I say debilitating noise…this unit has a personality to say the least.  We should have given it a name by now, we talk to it and about it often enough and it is constantly interrupting our conversations.

So let’s name him Fred.

We aren’t 100% sure why Fred is so loud…or why the grating rumbling happens…constantly.  Maybe it doesn’t correctly fit its AC wall unit cage thing, but regardless, Fred’s obnoxious.

Don’t get me wrong, we are grateful for it.  These NJ Summer days can be warm and very humid, and Fred does the job…just not quietly.  And that’s probably why we haven’t replaced him (giving it a pronoun now?  I think the heat’s getting to me).  We often turn Fred on to cool down the main floor hours prior to having company  over so we can turn him off when we sit down to actually hear one another at the table, but he works.  He still does the job and the money, time, and energy to buy a new one and install it just isn’t worth it at this point (although at the end of August I may be feeling differently, it’s still early summer).

Now at this point you may be wondering why I’ve spent nearly 300 words discussing our noisy air conditioner, and while it may be the fact that Fred is grunting at me right now or maybe that Mega Sports Camp just ended at church and I’m a bit delusional…but I really think that deep down it’s because God’s using this AC unit to show me something, and I want to share it with you.

Taking things for granted.

I know I am guilty of this, and I’m guessing you can relate.

It seems like we don’t realize what we have until it is taken away.

In addressing the Thessalonians, Paul gives us clear instructions for how to live with hands open,

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

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Summer can be a wonderful time.  Warm morning walks, trips to the pool, summer camps, barbecues, making s’mores, and catching fire flies.  But it can also be filled with whining kids saying they are bored, exhausting vacations when they don’t go as expected, uncomfortable temperatures, and obnoxious AC units named Fred.

My encouragement for us all during these weeks is that we look to Jesus and remember to rejoice, pray and give thanks no matter what.

We are so richly blessed and I wonder what a day would look like where we are all striving to not take things for granted.  To see our families, friends, cars, homes and jobs as blessings.  To see even the hard things or the confusing things as opportunities to trust the Lord.  To remember we don’t deserve anything.

Think about that.

We don’t deserve a single thing, everything we have is a gift that we are being entrusted with to steward well.

So let’s not take it for granted.

Let’s spend today, this week, this month, this season, even this year making it a point to rejoice, pray and give thanks.

Let’s keep our hands open, trusting God with all He’s given us, and allow Him to give and take away as He sees fit.

So Fred…welcome to the family.  We are grateful for you.