I could feel it brewing inside of me this morning. The crank was coming. My patience was a bit low. I was quiet. I was frustrated. And do you know what I was frustrated about? Everything was some sort of ridiculous miniscule moment of living a blessed life in the First World. I was frustrated that my son, who is a gift unto me that I can hardly contain my joy over, wouldn’t eat breakfast and he is kind of a control freak. (No word on where this trait came from.)
My son is healthy. He is safe. He is loved, not just by his amazing family, but by a multitude of others. He is smart, he is able bodied. None of that mattered as he refused to simply sit down and eat breakfast. Instead he insisted on running in circles, reading a guide book for Disney (which he has continually read since we came back from Disney) and making up excuses for why he wouldn’t eat.
You can add this moment to the great many others that show my battle against proper perspective on most days. I have never gone hungry a day in my life. My frustration in life is the over availability of food that tastes so good I have little discipline in not eating too much of it. I have a job that I love, which pays me more money than the vast majority of the world will ever see in a decade let alone a year. I have never suffered a major debilitating illness. My family has always been safe. No one has ever actively threatened their lives or sought to kill us.
I get annoyed that I need to replace the water filter in my refrigerator. It costs $40, I don’t want to spend $40. So instead of waiting for 5 minutes to fill up my glass of water through the fridge door I fill it in the sink, with unfiltered water. This is frustrating for some reason. I have immediate and never ending access to clean water. I have every single day of my life. I have never worried that my water was going to make me sick. I have never had to hike for miles to find water. I have wasted so much money on bottled water that it is actually criminal.
I get cranky when there is nothing good on TV. I have access to hundreds of channels of entertainment at all times. I can watch them on either of the HD TVs that are in my house. I can surf the internet on any of the three portable computers in my house at all times. I have access to a wealth of books, information, and entertainment the likes of which the world has never seen. When none of it stimulates me in the way I desire at that particular moment, because I have so much leisure time in my life that I have the privilege of knowing what it is like to be bored, I get frustrated.
For all these things, and so many more Lord, I ask your forgiveness. I am a child of privilege. I have too much. I am lazy and comfortable. I forget each day exactly how blessed my life is and I beg your forgiveness. This world is so broken and so unbalanced. I have far too much while so many have far too little. Give me perspective Father. Let me never be ungrateful for the blessings you have given me. Give me a spirit of generosity that reflects a true appreciation for what I have. Give me a sense of contentment in you that will allow me to give away what I do not need, say no to the demons of want, and to live a simple life devoted to you. Set my mind on heavenly things that I will never allow the temporary entertainments and minor discomforts of my life distract me from you. Amen.