Rich or Impoverished? I wonder.Posted: May 20, 2011
The kids had ice cream cones for the first time today.
That’s the thing about living overseas and coming back home: there is so much to discover and learn. When we first arrived back, Husband went to Walmart to purchase an atlas.
“Why are you buying this; you don’t have a TomTom?” the cashier asked.
Husband didn’t have the heart to ask what on earth a TomTom was. We had to learn about GPS’s and RedBox movies and what in the world American Idol was and about credit cards accepted at drive through’s.
A lot changes in a few years and today the kids learned about ice cream cones.
It was fun to see them discover something yummy and happy. And yet…
A piece of me wondered if we trade real riches for little yummy happies, impoverishing ourselves in the name of “treats” and “affluence.”
We do it with trips to the nail salon and trips through Starbucks drive through and shopping sprees and little meaningless purchases and pill popping and seeing what others are doing and following suit. Ever mimicking those around us.
We even specialize in being consumers of all things “christian.” It is just the way we do life in the west.
And in so doing, are we fancy looking “empty calorie” Christians, instead of being nourished and rich rooted ones?
I wonder at Grace that allowed me to live in a place where these things are not possible. Where all we had was each other. Where toys and treats and gadgets were replaced with people and serving others and pouring yourself out.
Where there were blistered feet after walking miles in sandals, humping a back pack with precious truth inside….not a trip to the pedicure place.
Where I got the haircut of my life for 55 cents …lordamercy…but got to share the Precious Name with a woman with scissors, someone who had never ever heard it before.
Where workbooks and second hand bible studies were unheard of but the pure milk of the Word was in abundant supply. At least in our home and on our walls and written in our hearts.
Where every morning I was wakened by street vendors and hawkers and school children running from mice and I thought I’d go crazy with the smells and the noise and the fact that floor cleaner was simply not available….but where I looked out and saw through God eyes and heard with God ears and touched with God hands.
Where we were targeted and pickpocketed and cheated and taken advantage of and spit on….and considered worthy by God for such an assignment??!
Where instead of internet and ipod was the Breath and Whisper of God.
So as I watch children eat ice cream cone and ask for seconds with a bit of a pout when I say “no”…. I crack a little on the inside. I want to go back.
I want the shirt on my back to soak through again with sweat from the effort.
I want the chance to have blistered feet again.
I want my children to pray for others when they look in a shop and see idols.
If it comes down to it, I want them to know about the man without legs who sits begging in front of the noodle shop, not about ice cream cones.
Truth be known, journal, I’m scared. Because I’m not sure I know how to live in this affluence. I’m not sure how to raise my children here. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to stand the tsunami of consumerism and me-ism and have-it-all-now-you-deserve-it-ism.
God. How do I do this? Help me!
“I am your portion,” He reminds me. “And your very great reward. Keep your eyes on Me.”
There will surely be chances to try to make a name for one’s self. There will be opportunities to better one’s financial standing. There will be pursuits and little compromises that come knocking and the gang will all say “join in the ride!”
It’s just the way we do life in the West.
But El Elyon says, “Make yourself empty so that I can make you rich.” “I am giving you a good land.” “You shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance.” (Numbers 18:20)
Have we given up our rich, goldy inheritance for worldly possessions and lifestyles of ease? Oh Lord, have I?
Let us not, O Sovereign Lord, let us not!
As I ponder the riches of Him, my appetite for the treats and treasures of the world turns to repulsion. Lord, my sweet Jesus, who have I in heaven but You? You are my Lord; I have no good besides You. (Ps. 16:2)
May it ever be, Lord, till my dying day, may it ever be.
Send me and spend me, Lord. Send and spend.