“And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 CSB
Jan Grzebski was a railroad worker in Poland. In 1988, he was hit in the head by a train’s hinged side car, which put him in a coma. That is what they thought at the time, but came to find out he had a 5 centimeter brain tumor that was the actual culprit. He spent the next 19 years in a coma, waking in 2007. When he went into the coma, Poland was a communist country. In 1990, Poland began to pursue economic liberalization. When Jan went into the coma meat was rationed and there were huge lines at gas stations. When he awoke from the coma it was a free nation. This is how he described his experience:
“When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere. Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there were so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin. What amazes me is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and never stop moaning. I’ve got nothing to complain about.”
Isn’t it interesting his perspective? His world went from an oppressive existence to freedom during the years he was unconscious, yet all he heard was complaining. No one was thankful for the changes that occurred. Cell phones weren’t even in existence when the accident happened. Can you imagine waking up one day to such a drastic change? We didn’t though, the change happened gradually over a period of time for us. So gradually, we take it for granted today. We take for granted the freedom cell phones have given us. The increased communication we now have with others, the wealth of information we have at our fingertips we didn’t have before. We take it all for granted. I was amazed when I went to El Salvador, everyone had cell phones there. I didn’t expect that in a third world country, yet that is how vastly our world has changed. And we can’t say thank you.
That is the bottom line, we don’t say thank you. Our lives overflow with blessings we take for granted. We don’t have peace in our hearts because we are more focused on what we don’t have than what we do have. Jan didn’t have a problem being thankful, he spent 19 of his 66 years on earth in a coma. He was just grateful to be awake, to be alive, to be with his family. But we take it all for granted. We’re all guilty of it at some point or another. Just the fact you woke up this morning, you had a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear and coffee to drink are all things to be thankful for today. If we want peace in our hearts we need to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.
The next time you look at your cell phone, think about Jan. Think about his words. Instead of moaning, be thankful. Use it as a way to remind yourself the key to peace in your heart is thankfulness.