If your and my life were a sequence of diary entries, what would it look like? One part of society is facing incredible difficulties and challenges, yet fight for survival without even entertaining the thought of giving up. On the other hand, we find the side that is spoilt for choice, but seems to throw in the towel at the slightest discomfort. Something is wrong with this picture.
The easier our life is, the softer we become, and the ability to deal with challenges seems to dissipate. Experience is an irreplaceable teacher. Most of us reading this have only experienced a comfortable lifestyle, in a comfortable home, with a variety of meals to choose from and no concern of grave danger, homelessness or hunger. It seems to be part of our human nature to complain and find fault with something. If there’s nothing big happening, we find something small to upset us.
On the other hand, there are parts of society that have REAL issues. Billions of people don’t know where their next meal will come from. They don’t have a clue where they’ll lay their head tonight. Whether they will survive the violence around them or not, is a mystery that only time can tell. These people know what suffering feels like they have built up the resilience to deal with these everyday struggles. I envy their tenacity and survival instincts. They don’t look for issues that aren’t there. They don’t waste their energy on the “small stuff”.
A few years ago a pastor from a small church in an extremely poor part of Uganda managed to get to a conference that was held in South Africa. There he met a pastor from an affluent church in Seattle. They spent a lot of time talking and sharing stories. When it was time to leave, the latter said that he would pray for the pastor and his congregation in their poverty. The response was, “I will pray for you and your congregation in your prosperity.” He realised that choice, comfort and prosperity are more dangerous for our holistic well-being, than challenges and difficulties.
So, do you diary entries reflect a “Wimpy Kid’s” entries? Are we feeling sorry for ourselves and complaining about things that aren’t even issues. Do we stop and think what REAL problems look like? (Now I’m not insensitive to things you might be facing. I’ve been through a bit myself and am happy to share some of those ordeals. Feel free to contact me.) When people talk to us , are we always sharing our issues? Maybe it’s time that we stop asking for miracles in our lives, and we start being miracles in the lives of others.
The most rewarding thing in life, is when we take the focus off our problems and put it on the struggles of others. This makes our own blessings glaringly obvious and we realise the lack of necessity to complain. It gives us a more balanced view of reality. When we focus on being a miracle for others, we find real purpose. And when we have real purpose, we will fight and will persevere because we know that we are fighting for something worthwhile.
Turn your eyes to Jesus (and His call to help the poor, orphans, widows). When we do that, the things of the earth will grow strangely dim (as well as the issues you have).
Have an amazing day!