Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful For What?

I'll admit, sometimes I'm guilty of a cynical attitude.  I know I'm called to be grateful for the things I have, but my circumstances swallow me up and I end up taking a swim in the pool of self pity.  I observe those around me who have more stuff and wonder why I can't afford to have the same things.  I leave the grocery store peeved because there were a few items I really wanted to get that just didn't make the cut this week and will have to wait until next--or maybe not at all.  I wish I had nicer furniture and a faster internet connection. When I see what others have, I'm envious and feel sorry for myself. 

Oh, I'm grateful for what I have, I just wish I had more.  There's a line in the children's book by Dr. Suess, Yertle the Turtle, where King Yertle says, "I'm ruler of all that I see, but I don't see enough.  That's the trouble with me."  He had everything he needed, but still wanted more. 

I just finished reading a book called The Hole In Our Gospel, written by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision.  I hated this book.  It was awful.  You should read it.  I'm not going to go into detail, because my point is not to write a book review.  But, the book is about our call as Christians to help the poor and impoverished of this world.  It's also about how RICH we are. 

A large part of my problem of wanting more and not being thankful for what I have, is that all too often, I'm comparing myself to the wrong people.  I look at those who have more than me and wonder why I don't have what they have, rather than considering those with less than me (which according to the book is 99% of all people in the world!) and being immensley grateful for what I've been entrusted with.  I get bent out of shape because I don't have HD on my TV, when there are 1.2 billion people in our world who don't even have clean water.  Ouch.  That's something I certainly take for granted. 

I thought about this today as we shared Thanksgiving dinner at our church with a small group of friends.  With the cold weather and storms we've had, a pipe broke and we were forced to serve a turkey dinner with no running water.  Let me tell ya, that was a challenge.  I was inconvenienced by the fact that I had to haul some water in a huge jug from my house to the church.  I had to pause and think of those that have to haul water, by hand, every day...and it's not even good water.  Suddenly I feel a little more thankful. 

With Christmas now coming and materialism kicking into high gear, I think I'll try to keep in perspective all that I've been given and recognize the riches that are mine in Christ Jesus. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Vanessa said...

Awww...hauling water isn't that bad. ;) It builds character...haha!
Thanks for inviting us over for Thanksgiving! And the ride...and the bottle of whatever that stuff was. haha!

Cari Johnson said...

No problem at all! I'm really glad you could join us. Thanks again for haulin' the dishes back to my house!

Anonymous said...

WOW, Cari ~ great insights here...really food for thought and I stand convicted!
Blessings...PD in CO

Cari Johnson said...

Thanks, PD and Happy Thanksgiving!!


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