The year was 1973 when my wife Joanne and I and our little five-month-old daughter Jennifer moved into this house. Richard Nixon was president at that time, and gasoline cost just over 30 cents/gallon. I think I was earning $900/month as an engineer at that time.
Joanne and I had saved enough money to afford new appliances for our house. These included a stove, a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a dryer. The kitchen appliances were avocado green color, which was a very popular color in the 70’s.
Nothing lasts forever, but I always felt it was unwise to discard big-ticket items like those just because some part was broken that could be replaced. And so whenever one of our appliances needed fixing, we got it fixed. Actually, I was able to fix some of the problems myself.
In the Bible, Paul wrote in the New Testament book of Philippians about being content. He said, “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can to all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13). I always felt that if he could be content as he sat in a prison cell, I can be content with what God has given me.
I mention all this because a few days ago our son, Joe, drove into our driveway with a new stove in the back of his truck. I knew we needed new appliances, but I had no inkling as I cooked a tortilla sandwich for Joanne and I and heated some apple juice for Joanne that that would be the last time I would use the stove I bought so many years — decades — ago. I remember saying to Joanne that I couldn’t recall when I had used 3 burners at the same time. Indeed, for some time now I’ve adopted the practice of praising God for each appliance as I used it. I praised God for our stove. I was content with what I had.
Joe’s wonderful act of unsolicited generosity shocked me! I thanked Joe — I think I also hugged him — and together we carried the new stove in, moved the old stove aside, and installed the new stove.
I could not help but think back on the thousands of times that old stove cooked our food, baked our bread, baked Thanksgiving turkeys, as well as Christmas and Easter dinners. There were many birthday meals cooked on that stove — and how many ordinary everyday meals.
Just so you know: I do not lust after “things”. I did in the past, but not any more. Like the great apostle Paul, I have learned to be content.
And thanks, Joe, for the fantastic new stove!!