Published July 21, 2015
A South African woman who thought her electricity bills were high didn't realize her home's electric meter was connected to all of her neighborhood street lights for 35 years. Minnie Swan complained for years about the size of the electricity bill for her house in KwaZulu-Natal.
According to news accounts, the 92-year-old widow's brother eventually convinced the electric company to install a new meter and that's when workers made the discovery. Her brother said it appears the original work was done 35 years ago when Minnie bought her house in the then-new neighborhood.
This woman had been sustaining the street lighting of the entire neighborhood, unawares.
Is there something in your life that you have been "sustaining" for so many years that you are no longer aware of it? Or, somewhere along the line, did something unworthy sneak into your life that you don't even realize you are sustaining?
Like the African woman, you may have a nagging feeling that something just isn't right. But, you "let it go" and perhaps you'll figure it out later.
Could it be a bad habit that is such a part of your life you don't realize it is there?
Do you get angry without reason and blow up hurting those around you? Do you blame it on others and how "frustrating" they are?
- Could you be sustaining a habit of lying? You started out with little "white lies" and over the years they have become such a part of your life, you don't even see them as lies.
- Could it be tardiness? After years of being late, starting a project or going somewhere a few minutes early doesn't even cross your mind. Keeping others waiting and wasting their time is a way of life and "just the way you are."
- Could it be overeating? Portions have gradually gotten bigger and now you feel like you need that much food to sustain you in all you have to do. The size of dishes or cups in your cupboards have increased so the larger amounts of food aren't so noticeable.
- Could it be lack of exercise? At one time, you walked places. Today, you use your car for even short trips down the block. Time is at a premium, so you need to get there fast and take the car rather than walking and expending the energy. And, with lack of movement, the energy and body strength is no longer there.
The list could go on and on. You probably could recognize things you are sustaining that have become commonplace.
Even worse than these physical problems are when spiritual problems are sustained and have simply become a way of life.
- Do you still take the time to pray, like you did when you first became a Christian or like you did when you were going through a trial?
- Do you participate with giving of your time and money and talents or have you decided you did your share already? Perhaps you gradually quit serving God and people and now feel your past actions are enough to get you through.
- Do you read your Bible? Does it still excite you or is it something you do so you can say you have done it? Does God speak through His Word or are you only reading words?
The most crucial question spiritually is whether you have actually invited Jesus into your heart. Is church and even serving in the church only a habit? Are you simply sustaining outward appearances? Did becoming a Christian (asking Jesus into your heart) actually take place or did you start attending church as a child with your family and never really make that individual decision to accept Jesus' death and His shedding of blood for your sins? Did you ever confess your sins and ask His forgiveness?
Every one of us must come individually to Jesus Christ. We cannot depend on our good "religious" family background. We cannot depend on our baptism as a child or even baptism when we were a teenager along with our peers.
While we need to support good Christian living and the activities of the church, please be sure you've taken that crucial step and accepted Jesus death and resurrection on your behalf.
What are you sustaining today for good or bad? Bad habits? Appearances? Pitch out the bad. But keep the good. Be sure everything has the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.
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