I am ungrateful for all the wrong reasons.
It is not that I cannot see God's hand evident - sometime daily - in our lives. It is that it never seems to be in the way that I want it to be.
Witness yesterday. I charged the offending van battery and tested it. It started like a charm. Headed out later in the day to run some errands. The second stop I make, the battery is low again. And then here is the hand of God:
1) The breakdown occurred less than a mile from The Ravishing Mrs. TB's work, so she could come pick me up. Additionally, it occurred in a supermarket parking lot so it was easy to access.
2) We were close enough to home that I could run home and get the tools I needed. Fortuitously (?) I had just organized my socket set so I could easily grab what I needed.
3) We originally went to one store to buy a battery but could not find it the model number. We looked at the battery and it was from Wal-Mart, so we drove there. Turns out the battery was under warranty. They said they needed to charge it to invoke the warranty but when I said I had already tried they were good with that. Not only was the battery free, we got almost $4.00 back.
4) This whole thing has occurred during my vacation, when it was easy for us to deal with it. During my regular work week this would have been a great deal more difficult.
All evidence of God's hand in our lives. So why am I not feeling more loved and taken care of and grateful?
Because I am selfish. Because all of this is quite handy of course, but what I really want is for the things that I want and think important to be taken care of as well. My projects. My dreams. My goals.
That is not the way it works, of course. Christ knew nothing of the sort. Neither did the apostles. Their concerns were God's concerns, their goals God's goals.
I am going through Acts right now. Time and time again, one finds the apostles preaching - and then something bad happens. Prison perhaps, or lashings, or maybe stonings. Never once do they grumble about it, never once do I catch them complaining that God is not fulfilling their dreams for their lives. God is always working to fulfill His goals - and the apostles see everything through that lens.
So perhaps, in the midst of my grumbling and baseline gratefulness, it would not hurt me to reflect for a moment that God, even though He is busy with the universe, has taken the time to determine that us having a functional van that we could easily repair is something that is important and somehow critical to what He is doing - and that perhaps all of my own wishes and wants do not rise to that same level.