Monday, October 02, 2006

Warm And Fuzzy

Lisa and I were talking this morning about a number of things, and it really got me thinking. The 30 Days of Nothing thing just came to an end for quite a few families, and I made a comment to one of Mary's posts at Owlhaven about it. My comment was on the line of thinking that while we are restocking our pantries and getting back to normal, or normal minus a little bit because of slightly changed perspectives about consumerism, the families we would be emulating are starting another 30 Days of Nothing, as they cannot restock and talk about how wonderful it is to have this new perspective, over a big celebratory bowl of Ben & Jerry's, Blue Bell, or Tillamook ice cream.

(If you haven't already picked up on it, the "Warm and Fuzzy" title was a little sarcastic. This post is far from warm and fuzzy, is not about throwing rocks, but is about looking at how we live our lives from an objective point of view, and to always try to change that which is not correct.)

I read a Mother Teresa quote today that was most likely used by her in another context, but is perfectly fitting for this strand of thoughts. She said:

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. ~ Mother Teresa

Lisa and I then talked about the grandness of life in the U.S., or gluttony of life here for that matter, with regard to what Mother was saying. Some things that come to mind from our life:
  • We have enough clothes in our home to cover atleast 6 families, much of which is so specialized that it only sees the light of day every few years, or at the holidays.
  • I am afraid to do the math and figure out how many kids at AHOPE could be sponsored with what we spend on media/entertainment/communication in our home.
  • We waste way too much food. We either overconsume or throw out food that we let spoil so we could have something that sounded better at that moment.
  • Our kids are too spoiled, and have so many toys it is rediculous.
  • We have 3 vehicles, and as Avery talked about last week, we must have 10 bikes.
  • When ever I come home from a monthly Costco trip, I wonder during the endless procession into the house with our stuff, where is the line of stuff coming out of the house?
  • We are never truly in need of material things.

Then there are some recent things outside of our family that we talked about. And this isn't stuff that we are pointing fingers about, just triggers for our discussion. Like spending thousands on vacations, new cars, houses WAY bigger than the need for shelter and basic comfort, whether it all could be afforded or not. I told Lisa that I knew some would say, "yes, but they earned it. They worked hard for that and they deserve it."

Do we deserve it?


How do I, primarily sitting on my oversized backside, being paid way too much to do what I do, deserve more than a single mom in Addis Ababa who slaves away all day long to buy enough food for 2 of her 4 kids, meaning she will have to make a tough decision and give a couple of them up for adoption, or let them all die. Do I deserve it because I am better, more industrious, or more gifted than her? Certainly there is a component of this that is due to my efforts, but how much of it is just plain luck, or blessing that I was born here rather than there?

When I only use my block, or my street, or my town, I can possibly come to the conclusion that I deserve it. But the One who's opinion counts doesn't have such limited vision. He sees all, and in His kingdom view He would most likely agree that I DON'T DESERVE ANYTHING. It is only by His grace and mercy that my kids have not known need, ever.

We are adopting the kids God points to and says "they are yours", and we are sponsoring some kids at AHOPE. But God, do not let me or my family be comforted with doing these things while living a life of gluttony, because "we deserve it!" Open our eyes, minds and hearts God, and give us joy in the midst of learning to live a sacrificial life. Don't allow a child to die so that we may live as we wish.

Sorry to dupe you into reading this if you were looking for warm and fuzzy adoption updates about the girls. Those will come later. Today, this is as soft as it gets.


owlhaven said...

Wow. How thought provoking...


Brianna Heldt said...

Excellent post. Great stuff to think about, difficult as it is.

Sharon said...

Thank you for voicing ideas that I think we could all stand to think about more often. I am grateful for the abundance I have because I live in this country and had such hard-working, caring parents. However, there are many times when all of this rings false - like when I think of all of the people in the world who didn't get breakfast and may not have lunch or dinner either. Thanks again for the reminder.