Bob Tamasy: Taking Things for Granted

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever had a boss, family member, or even a spouse that rarely complimented you when you did something well, but was quick to bring it to your attention when you made a mistake? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it – if that person was so good at noticing when you did something wrong, why couldn’t he or she try to catch you doing something right?

Maybe that kind of approach was intended as a backhanded compliment. They expected us to do things properly, so it caught them by surprise when we made an error. (At least I’d like to think that was the case.) Sad, but isn’t that how we view many of the things we utilize every day?

For instance, when we stick the key in the ignition and the car starts up, we don’t call our friends and throw a party. But if we turn the key and nothing happens, or we hear only “click-click-click,” we’re ready to call the manufacturer, the dealership, the car repair service, or anyone who’ll listen to our complaints.

Cars are supposed to start. When they don’t, it catches us off guard. The same applies to TVs, furnaces and air conditioners, computers, cell phones and every other gadget we use on a regular basis. We take them for granted – until something goes wrong and we’re in crisis.

Several weeks ago, while moving some boxes to my garage, I turned awkwardly and twisted my knee. The stab of pain I felt instantly told me I’d made a wrong move, although I wasn’t aware of doing anything unusual. Over the next days my always-reliable, never-causing-me-any-trouble knee hurt. It was a real pain in the…knee. I hobbled around, even having to miss several of my morning exercise classes. Ibuprophen became my buddy.

I felt my knee had betrayed me. Joints are to be seen, not felt. Joints are supposed to be taken for granted. When you’re conscious of your joints moving, something’s not right.

We tend to hold a similar attitude toward spiritual faith. Even if we claim faith is an important part of our life, we take it with the proverbial grain of salt. As long as things are going well, it’s easy to claim strong faith in God. We say, “Thank you, Lord,” while patting ourselves on the back. But when problems arise, we wonder what’s wrong. “Lord, what have you done for me lately?”

Tough times reveal the genuineness of our faith. It doesn’t require a lot of faith when we’re feeling good, the bills are all paid, work’s going well, the car’s starting, our family’s in harmony, and the house is warm and cozy. But what happens to our trust and confidence in God when things aren’t going the way we want?

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I don’t believe God brings adversity into our lives to watch us squirm. But He allows hardships because through those situations we’re reminded how desperately we need Him.

Another verse, Hebrews 11:1, states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We don’t need to hope for resolutions to problems that are already solved, or for things we already possess. The eyes of faith assure us God will do for us those things we can’t see.

A friend has struggled with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease, since childhood. Hard work and perseverance enabled him to live far beyond the most optimistic expectations of his physicians. He got married, had children and established a successful business career, despite his severe physical limitations. Through it all, his faith remained strong, trusting God for healing.

A few weeks ago he and his family saw their prayers answered. He received a double lung transplant, and today is progressing well in recovery, hopeful of many more years of fruitful life, loving his family and friends, and serving his Lord.

His faith gave substance to his hopes, evidence of God’s promise to restore his health when the medical experts said it wasn’t going to happen. He’s a living example of faith in action.

So the next time your faith is challenged, when your calm and tranquil life is disrupted by chaos, think of it as an opportunity to exercise that faith, to wait and see what God is going to do. And to be reminded that God is good – all the time.


Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs,, and He can be emailed at

Thankful Missionary Baptist Church To Have Reunion Concert Oct. 17

Elder Oscar L. Lockhart, Sr., is retiring as pastor of Thankful Missionary Baptist Church at the end of the year after 35 years of faithful service. As part of Pastor Lockhart’s retirement celebration activities, there will be a Thankful Reunion Choir Concert on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. The concert will take place at the church at 980 N. Orchard Knob Ave., and will feature ... (click for more)

"Forgetting Who God Is" Is Topic At Middle Valley COG On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Forgetting Who God Is' in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This is part of a series of messages from his 'Living Where We Are' series.  Pastor McClure will lead the congregation in a time of water baptism and worship in the 6:30 p.m. service on Sunday. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Man, 25, Shot While Riding In Car In Brainerd On Friday Night

A 25-year-old man was shot while riding in a car in Brainerd on Friday night. Police said Anthony Amey had non-life threatening injuries. At approximately 9:20 p.m., Chattanooga Police were notified of a gunshot wound victim being treated at a local hospital. Of ficers found that the shooting occurred at 500 South Germantown Road. T he victim stated he ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Black Voice In Memphis

Tennessee got quite a peek at its political barometer Thursday night in Memphis when A.C. Wharton, a once-popular black leader who has been Mayor since 2009, was thoroughly trounced by Jim Strickland, currently on the City Council. Strickland, a white Democrat, may be the first step in bringing the now much-maligned West Tennessee city back to hope and reality. What no one can believe ... (click for more)