Often we Americans get a little confused. “I need more toilet paper. I need a new phone. I need to go shopping for a pair of shoes to go with my new dress.” We think we need so much. Why do we feel so entitled?
We are so used to have everything
provided for us, pre-packaged and right at our doorstep. We don't
wait in lines, we HATE being put on hold on telephones, and if fast
food takes longer than ten minutes we will probably have a heart
attack. We expect to live a high quality lifestyle- good food at
restaurants, education, friendly and safe community, and of course
free health insurance. But until these things are stripped away from
us we don't realize how good we actually have it and how unfair our expectations really are
compared to the rest of the world.
The more time I have spent in foreign
countries as a missionary, the more I disdain my selfish self and the
typical “American-dream” lifestyle. Just like many other
Americans, before I traveled to Peru to live, I thought I deserved a
lot. I thought that because I was a good kid, got good grades in
college, and had a nice family- I deserved to be loved, protected,
win scholarships, receive the best education, and of course to have
clean water. I mean come on, every family or even homeless person in
America, has access to clean water a.k.a. water fountains.
Then I arrived in Peru where children
play in trash, people wait 4 hours in the rain for free medical help,
and families of nine live in a house the size of my bedroom. It
slowly hit me that life isn't fair and nobody owes me anything.
I don't believe that any race, class,
or social status deserves to be treated better than another. I
disdain the fact that the country of birth often determines the
quality of life of a person. And even more so, I find it ridiculous
that while millions are dying in America due to obesity, innocent
babies and children are suffering of starvation in India and Africa
every day. Life isn't fair.
As I spent eight months in Peru living
alongside children and families in poverty, I learned a few things
about what I need and don't need. I don't need to eat at Olive Garden, to spend $8 on the newest movie, or to buy the newest iphone. I don't need to spend money without thinking. I don't need to be selfish and look out for myself.
I do need to follow God's
commandments to love the unlovable, reach the unreachable, and
sacrifice my belongings for the well-being of another person. I do
need to give to the needy, the homeless, the abused, the orphan, and
the widow. I do need to listen to God's direction in my life and
follow where He leads me.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in his glory by Christ Jesus.