Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Helping the world

I participated in an interesting discussion today. Two women were talking about leaving tomorrow for a two-week mission to Uganda. They will be helping in small villages, administering medicine, and visiting orphanages. One woman was concerned about how heartbreaking it will be to witness first-hand the situations in which these people live, and the trials they face every day.

Then, the conversation turned to Paul (of the New Testament), and how he described himself as being saved not from poverty, but from prosperity. I had never considered that the curse of prosperity might be equal to or greater than that of poverty. We often feel the urge to help those less fortunate than us, but what about those who are drowning in their riches? We live in a world where power, fame and fortune are chased with such vigor that many lose sight of what is really important in life.

We recognize the plight of hunger, the rage of disease, the unrest of politics, and the fury of war. Our hearts collectively weep at the site of the innocent children effected by the uncontrollable conditions around them. But what for the celebrities lost in their altered reality? Do we long to help them realize the damage they do to themselves and their loved ones? Or do we simply dismiss their case with "if I had that much money..." What of those we know who are not celebrities, but suffer the same malady, chasing the same aimless pursuits, always searching and never finding true joy.

The child living in Africa may not have many worldly possessions, but she may not feel the emptiness in her heart that many North Americans feel.

It is easy to say that I would be different if 'blessed' with fame or power or riches. But perhaps I too have been 'saved' from the trials that come with those things. Perhaps I wouldn't be strong enough to handle the temptations. Perhaps I should say: "thank you for not giving me a million dollars."

I am indeed grateful for that which I have. I do not want to fall prey to the idea that I don't have enough. I am richly blessed in so many ways. I want to make sure that I'm happy for the life of moderation I live, and that I show my thanks for that daily.

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