Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh be careful little eyes, what you read... (part 1)

A couple of years ago, I picked up this innocent little book.  The bright orange cover and upside down house caught my eye.  The subtitle, "Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" intrigued me.

The two hundred forty pages inside turned me upside down.

So then another so-called friend recommended this book to me.  Again with the cool title and cool cover.

Again with the turning me upside down and inside out.

Not too long ago, I bought this book and read it in a matter of days.  I should have known better, since I've followed Katie Davis' blog for a while.
Katie's story inspires me, breaks my heart, and makes must ever so slightly uncomfortable.
Really uncomfortable, actually.  Because my life is just so comfortable.

So about a month ago, another former friend (she will know who she is if she reads this) tells me about this book.  A most unusual title, indeed.  A mutiny against excess?  Hmm.

That's it.  I'm done.  Or undone.  Or both.

All of these books have me looking at my life, and my house, and my family and I keep asking myself the same hard questions and not liking the answers very much because I'm so afraid that if I admit the truth, then I will have to act on it.  And that could be hard.  And the ugly truth is 
that I am a spoiled little rich girl.

I am a spoiled little rich girl.  
God help me.

Now if you really know me, you've seen what I drive, you've heard my kids talk about shopping at Goodwill (or GW's as some call it) and you know that by our culture's standards, we are not rich.

But we are.  Want the proof?

Everyone in my family sleeps in a bed every night.
When we are hot, we turn on air conditioning.
When we are cold, we turn on heat.  
When I want water, I turn on the faucet.
We have more clothes than we could ever need to suit every season, occasion and mood.
Our cabinets, refrigerators and freezers are full of food.
Sometimes we throw  food  away because we just never got around to eating it.
Sometimes we eat out when there is plenty of food at home just because I don't feel like cooking it.
I have never, ever, even once worried that my kids would go hungry.

And that does not even begin to scratch the surface of the ways that I am so abundantly blessed.

Admitting this truth only leads to more hard questions.  Why? Why do I get to tuck my beautiful children into soft warm beds at night when other moms must raise their babies on the street?  Why do I get to serve three meals a day plus a gazillion snacks all day long to my kids when other moms watch their babies starve to death?  Why was I born into a nation of freedom and health and wealth and comfort and convenience when others are born into oppression, disease, corruption and poverty?  Why?  Do I deserve it?

Um, no.

Is it just good fortune?  Was I just dealt a good hand in a random game of life?

I don't believe so.  The longer I live (40 years now) the more I am able to look back and clearly see God at work, orchestrating events and circumstances to bring me to the places where He wanted me.  I do not claim to have a firm grasp on the whole predestination/free will issue.  I am not that smart.  But this I know:  The experiences in my life, the people I have met, the blessings I have received and the hardships I have endured have not been chance.  God has been at work every minute of every day.  I am where I am with what I have because He has brought me here.  So...why?

I think perhaps He wants me to do something with my prosperity.

Or maybe He expects me to do something with it.
Or requires that I do something with it.
Besides keep it, I mean.


So now what do I do?


Anonymous said...

I will have to read these this summer. Thank you for posting this. Mary

tkmixson said...

I am hooked. I cannot wait to see what you write next!!!!

PeeJumpty said...

Thanks for sharing. Oh, that God would fill us with faith to trust him to do things our culture (and flesh) shuns!