The other day, John (my teenage son) and I were talking about his future and what career he would possibly want to pursue one day. His dream is to play professional soccer. Now I wholeheartedly believe that he has the talent and the work ethic to make a success in that. The conversation then led to the possibility that he might sustain an injury or get bored at 35, when he retires and the the fact that it’s good to have options in life.
It certainly is good to have other options in life when things don’t always turn out the way we expected or wanted them to. But when we have too many choices in too many things, we tend to lose focus of what is really important. We have that very problem in the western world. Our myriad of options has caused us to become so complacent that we refuse to reach out to others in fear of having to sacrifice something that makes us comfortable.
All we need is bread and water to survive, yet we choose to spend a great portion of our salaries on a bunch of things in supermarkets, not because we need them, but because they are there. While we do that, we lose focus of 22 000 people who are starving today. Instead of realising how blessed we are, we tend to complain when our favourite food item is out of stock.
In Melbourne we have a wide array of transport we can choose from to get to work; cars, trains, buses, trams and the good old walk! We forget to think about people who need to walk 10-15 km to get drinking water and to remember how blessed we are. Instead we complain profusely when 1 of the 20 train services a day is cancelled.
There are thousands of churches we can choose to attend, so when we don’t like the curtains in one, we have 999 other options. This makes it so easy for us to find fault with things because we have so many other options.
Here’s the thing – the less options we have in life, the more we seem to appreciate what we have because we know that’s all we have and at least it’s something.
Lord, my prayer today is that, despite all the options I have in my life, I would never forget to realise how blessed I am. And that I will always be willing to sacrifice the comfort that these options bring, to help others that have fewer options in their lives.