for some reason,  all day long i have been wrestling with incredibly conflicting feelings…

on the one hand,  i feel unbelievably grateful and humbled that i am permanently embedded in top ten percent of the wealthiest and most privileged people on the planet.   i didn’t earn it.   i don’t deserve it.   there is no way that i am better or more deserving than others.   no way.

i have fresh water anytime.   everyday.   i have a bed of my own.   i have multiple food choices.   anytime.   i have my own cars and televisions and a closet full of clothes…for any kind of weather.   i’ve never counted,  but i bet i have 15 pairs of shoes.   15!   the majority of the world has none of this.

i have an education.   i have pretty  good health…and access to good health care  (no matter what plan we end up with).   i have a roof over my head…good roads to drive on…opportunities for employment if i ever get my butt fired…i have not one, but two window air conditioners,  along with an old,  but still functioning house a/c unit…unlimited recreational opportunities…and abundant medicine to take when i’m not feeling my best.

i have more than everything i need.   way more.   i have tons of  things i want.   i do not have the words to express my gratitude for the life i live.

on the other hand, i am unspeakably embarrassed for any of the times i ever whine about how difficult my life is or any sense of entitlement that creeps its way into my heart.

i’m in the top ten percent of the most privileged people on the globe.

wow.   humbled and thankful does not even come close to what i should feel every moment of every day.


10 thoughts on “Conflict

  1. “what i SHOULD feel…” And yet we struggle for every little thing we have. Or at least I do. I have more stuff and more security now than I have ever had, but I feel intense pressure to make ends meet and not lose it all…and it seems like losing it all is always just around the corner. I have things but I owe everyone. I don’t think I will ever be out of debt. I pay one thing, but some other debt comes to take its place, one way or another. Chris and I are building a wonderful new house that is within our means and will hopefully bring us comfort and joy and security and great memories and who knows what else for a long time, but I am overwhelmed by the realization that we will ALWAYS owe for it. We will pay for it every day, with the work we do and decisions we make – not just with our paychecks. And we will never be free from that. I guess my point is that I don’t feel priviledged, I feel like a slave to this way of life. Perhaps that means its time to change some things….

    1. Erin, this is something I’ve been struggling with too. I hear all the time that all the stuff we have in America is a blessing. And in some ways it is. Definitely. But then I look at the words of Jesus, and the way he talks about material wealth makes me believe that all our stuff can actually be a curse because we become slaves to it.

      Sometimes when we keep calling material wealth a “blessing” we inadvertently are saying “so do everything you can to get more blessing!” without realizing that we’re attaching more and more chains to ourselves. Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:24 are especially haunting to me.

  2. Conversation with someone from a 3rd world country:

    “Your car has it’s own house?”
    “There are pigeons that you shot and you don’t eat them”
    “You pick up your animal’s poop?”
    “You run on a cement street to not be obese?”

    From the other side

    “So let me get this straight, the nearest bowling alley is 3000 miles from here?”
    “There is no park!”
    “I get to live to be how old? Less than 50?”
    “That’s who I get as my wife???”

    hmm…I think I will thank God for my everyday. Not to thank him for any particular item, I just want to thank him for where I am.

    1. Oh and if you are reading this blog your are Uber privileged in the terms of wealth.

      In my crazy brain: Twitter accounts, FB, Blogs, Rolexes, Porches, Xboxes, Maryjane, Fantasy Football, happymeals, overpriced organic food.

      This is all wealth to me. And all are worth the same amount. Yes, A Rolex is worth just as much as a happymeal. Send a homeless person in a pawn shop with a rolex and see how much he gets for it. Auction the same rolex at Tiffany’s and see what it’s worth.
      Eating a happy meal in Texas, I bet it is worth more in a country with no Golden arches.

      I told you guys I have a sick brain.

      Or, does this privilege not count? I think it does.

  3. It was hard for me to get up in the first service and speak this past week.

    I had to stand up and speak on people dying in this world from hunger after I had just spent 2 night tent camping, sleeping in a $40 sleeping bag that kept me so warm I had to open it up, eating like a king to the point I just couldn’t eat anymore, plugging in a heater to keep me even warmer just in case my fancy sleeping bag didn’t quite do it and buying extra food at McDonald’s because the whole meals the boys had before wasn’t enough……

    So I get to follow that up by standing in front of a group of people and explaining why I think its important to help others that are so far from the life I have that I dont even understand it. It is so skewed and so backwards that I can’t wrap my hands around it. I can’t make sense of it. It gives me questions and doubts that I just don’t know the answers to.

    Conflicted doesn’t even begin to explain it.

  4. Well of course there is the other conflict. We are the RICHEST nation in the world, yet we have homeless and hungry just around the corners from us. Children with no shoes. Yes I realize that some of the adults have brought it upon themselves but the children haven’t. I feel conflicted in how much we take care of other nations yet sometimes forget our own.

    I was in Cancun (yes I know horrible plight) watching the vendors in the 100+ heat walking up and down the beach trying to make a living. Fully clothed, while I’m sitting there sweating in a swimsuit and thinking.. how hard their life is and I was so grateful for mine. Yes I struggle, daily. But I know I’m blessed.

    I do believe I”m rambling and made absolutely NO point in this. Oh well, such is Sherri

  5. i realize how horribly insensitive i am for raising this issue, but the more we face it, the better chance we have of dealing with it…

    the world is ravaged by sin. it has been since the flood. jesus said we would always have the poor with us. there has been inequity in our social system throughout history. i suspect it will always be that way. sin isn’t going away any time soon. even in our wealth, our souls can exist in poverty.

  6. and of course I finally read my “verse of the day” from my handy dandy smart (sometimes dumb) phone… Do not the love or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world, lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the prride of life comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

    WHAT am I being told!!!!

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