Lately I’ve been catching myself listening to conversations–many of my own–with different ears, and I am aghast at what I hear. We are supposed to be in an “economic recession”, and I understand for many the very real difficulties that brings, and yet I keep comparing our lives to those in other countries where owning a computer would seem like winning the lottery to us.
I mean, isn’t it all about perspective? My dad was recounting a missionary’s biography and the description of a typical family in the area where he lived. He said,
“To get a picture of how they live, imagine getting rid of every item in your house–everything–even the food out of the pantry. Then turn off the power and water. Then move out into the shed in your back yard. Then get rid of your shoes–none except the head of the house could afford to wear shoes–now you’re close. There may some left over potatoes starting to ruin for dinner.”
Now even though that is extreme, it is real. And there is everything in between, with Americans being pretty much on the top of the social scale–the richest in the world, no matter what your current situation.
And I complain daily about something as trivial as the switch on my hair dryer being broken, or my computer being too slow, or my hair being too–whatever my hair is 😉
It’s shameful. And then I hear someone say “we can’t afford more children”, and it breaks my heart. It sounds noble to say it, but taking a different look, doesn’t it just reveal the depth of our selfishness? And my selfishness, when I say “we can’t afford to give”, whatever the need is?
Americans–the richest people in the world. Could our prosperity possibly have made us the most complaining, the least hardy, and the greediest people in the world?
And to wrap the whole thing up in tragic irony is the idea that somehow our children will be better if we give them more things, more opportunities, more fill in the blank. We all know deep down that often it is the very thing that makes them worse! The only thing that makes them “better”–and we’ve seen it proven!–is more of our time, more of Jesus, and more of simple living.
Thinking about taking a mission trip during Christmas…