You Got a Problem with That?
Several years ago, our family had a layover at the Indianapolis airport. While waiting for our connecting flight, a man came up to me and said, “A woman asked me to watch her bags, but now I have to board my flight and she hasn’t come back. Will you keep an eye on her things?” I replied that I would be glad to do so. Soon, a young woman returned and seemed to be the owner of the bags, including one that appeared to be a purse, so I thought I should tell her that her bags had been cared for and that the conscientious man had faithfully executed his “duty.” I was taken aback when, after I informed her that both he and I had monitored her bags, she breezily replied, “No problem!” ‘No problem?’ I wondered. Two complete strangers do you a favor and you reply ‘no problem’? Whatever happened to ‘thank you’?
After she was out of earshot, I told the rest of the family about this encounter, and we got laughing hysterically about how inappropriate it was to say ‘no problem’ when someone has done you a favor. We started making up silly scenarios where a response of ‘no problem’ would be even more ludicrous, like, ‘Here, I found your wallet with $10,000 in it!’ or ‘I just saved your child from an oncoming train!’ No problem!
In reflecting on this experience (which I admit still makes me break out in solitary laughter from time to time), I became aware that too often we respond to the blessings God bestows upon us with an attitude of ‘no problem.’ Got a good job? Healthy family? Warm house? No problem! If we really believe James 1:17, which says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights,” then we should be on our knees thanking God for every blessing he provides through his love and mercy. Especially in this season of thanksgiving, it is important to remember that everything we are and everything we have comes to us through the goodness of God. In light of such generous and unmerited gifts, the only appropriate response is sincere, heartfelt thankfulness. I, for one, have no problem with that!
Sue Bradley, Hope member and Clerk of Session