We have been without electricity for five days since tropical storm Zeta hit. Our power pole got wiped out by a wind born pine tree that blocked our driveway. For five days we lived like the pioneers without power, the internet or the ability to do anything for those circumstances to change. Our power has been restored and it will be a very long time before I forget to count on electricity and the gift it brings to our lives. Electricity counts yet it cannot be counted, not really. The lesson for me is that we never know how much something means to us until we are without it.
We count things and we count on people, all too often we get those two things reversed. We get into trouble when we count on things and forget to understand that people count, they matter, what they want, need and desire is important. No matter how much we think we know about people there is always something that will surprise. No matter how much we know about ourselves we will learn new things or be reminded of our dependencies as we face challenges and opportunities.
We all want to think we are someone people can count on, yet is that really true? It is easy to profess and at times difficult to live out. We usually find out who we can count on during tough times. Who will help, give up something or give away things in order to meet our need? Who will come help us change our tire when it is freezing, raining and dark? And who’s call do we take no matter what the situation so they know they can count on us?
Words like integrity, commitment, honesty and value all help us develop into the people we want to be AND usually are earned through great sacrifice and experience. These traits mean a great deal yet are hard to count or measure, however we know when they are not present. So today think about the things you count on – like electricity – and give thanks for the people who you can count on. And work hard to be the person people can count on no matter the circumstances. We all want to know those people yet first we have to be one of those people.