Apparently, I had never heard the phrase, “Problems only the rich have,” but after our pastor’s sermon last week, it was crystal clear to me.
Here’s an example he used. One of his frustrations this past month has been that the battery in his garage door opener is wearing out, so once in a while when he pulls into the driveway the door doesn’t automatically go up with the push of the button. He actually has to get out of his car and walk up to the garage and push buttons to make the door open. Can you believe that??
Well, actually I can. Sadly. I guess I’m a rich person, because I came home from church today and proceeded to have problems that other people in the world just don’t ever have. Like being annoyed that the key cover for the period on my laptop is missing. Or upset that our faucet continues to leak. Or bothered that the kids clothes are all over the floor of their room. Or, (this one really did me in) VERY frustrated when the Costco size syrup that one of my sweet children precariously balanced on the edge of the fridge shelf fell and oozed all over the kitchen floor (think sticky). All problems that other people don’t have.
Because they don’t have computers.
They don’t have running water.
Their kids only have two shirts.
They don’t shop at Costco, or have syrup….or a fridge.
Our pastor’s point?
Not just thankfulness, but what he calls baseline thankfulness. Our baseline in America tends to creep up quite a bit more than in other parts of the world because we live in a culture of convenience, efficiency, and discontentment.
As Christians, we need to push that baseline of thankfulness down, down, to the very basics of life.
We need to be thankful for (A HUGE VARIETY OF) food, (ABOUNDING) health, running (HOT) water, a (COMFY) mattress to sleep on, a yard to take care of, and the list goes on.
Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus. Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have recently wrestled with potential change in my life, and that change meant losing some things that are dear to me. Throughout that process, my baseline thankfulness changed. I gained a whole new perspective of things that I had taken for granted.
You might want to try that exercise. Think about losing some important and not so important things in your life–your marriage, your job, your cell phone, your church, your computer. All of those things may have parts that are frustrating, that you wish would be different–but what if they were completely gone? And you had to start–over. What things would you appreciate again?
We have so much to be thankful for in America–material possessions, freedom, opportunity, choice. Thanksgiving is right around the corner…maybe it can take on even more significance in our homes as we shift our baseline of thankfulness.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
What are your problems?
(Darn…my voicemail doesn’t work as well now that I’ve shifted to the new IOS system on my iPhone).