Have you ever heard yourself say these words:
“oh, the internet is so slow”
*my boat is peeling, and its going to cost __ to fix it”
*my stock portfolio just dropped ___%”
* I can’t believe I had to spend another $350 on a new cell phone”
Friends, I think that these comments could all be described as “1st world problems”. Maybe your life looks pretty much like this: You are happily married, you have a job, you have plenty of savings, you have good health, you enjoy being involved in your church and open about your faith. If these things describe your situation, I am happy for you.
My point in this post is to not make anyone feel guilty if they are in a position of comfort in their present circumstances. If anything, I would like to encourage you to be very thankful for all that God has blessed you with and enjoy those blessings.
However, I would also like to stretch you to leave the comforts of your “palace walls” and consider those in this world who have circumstances quite different than yours. I’m not talking about looking down on them, or judging them. I’m just asking you to try to understand how others live their lives.
Let me mention a few “realities” that are going on in this big, ol’ world around you and I:
- 750 million people around the world lack access to safe water; approximately one in nine people. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_81329.html?p=printme
of people who live paycheck to paycheck-About one-third of U.S. households earning at least $75,000 annually say they are living on the edge financially, according to a new survey from SunTrust (STI) that was conducted by Harris Poll–By MONEYWATCH April 17, 2015, 12:48 PM
- about 50% of married couples in the U.S. that get divorced
- Each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer, and 8 million people die from the disease. ..–www.cdc.gov/canc.
- 1 in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC)
- over 2300 people have been shot or wounded in Chicago in 201
- the Vatican reports that over 100,000 Christians killed each year –http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/06/02/vatican-spokesman-claims-100000-christians-killed-annually-because-faith/
- About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions–http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/03/18/retirement-confidence-survey-savings/6432241/
So, what’s the “next step” then for you and considering all these realities? I don’t know. I think the applications will be different for each of us. My heart goes out to families that are falling apart. I believe that solid families are foundational in our society and when families are dysfunctional, the consequences are enormous in individual lives, as well as to our society.
How about you? When is the last time you really sought to understand how others live ?
When is the last time you volunteered your time, talents, or money to someone in need, someone less fortunate than you?
If you have never really broke from the familiar surroundings of your “palace community”, let me challenge you to get outside the walls in some way and observe and engage with those who live lives far different than yours and offer what you can of yourself to be help to someone.
I can remember being told as a teenager that “life does not revolve around you”, well, how are you, and how am I showing our maturity by involving ourselves with people around us?