Does Privilege Hinder My Faith?

If you know me, you know that I've travel to several countries in the last ten years of my life. I continue to go because God continues to lead me. One thing that I've learned through my many excursions is that I can never stop going. If I stop, I'm afraid I'll lose the perspective that I've gained from my time in these other cultures. I have learned something significant from each of the cultures I've experienced, and this knowledge has made me very aware.

Now, I am very aware that I lead a life of privilege. I have a job, my own office, air conditioning everywhere I go, my own car, a stove, a floor in my home, a washing machine, and countless other things that I have grown up believing were "needs." These things are not needs but privileges. I'm aware that the amount of money I've paid for my car (just a saturn) could be enough to pay an overseas salary in certain places for decades. I'm aware there are many places without running water or people with enough to eat. All of this awareness drives me to my knees in prayer, because I realize how selfish I am. Even with everything I know, I still complain about the most trivial things in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I love my country, but sometimes we have to recognize that we don't have it all figured out. My society tells me to look out for number one, to do what makes me happy, and to make sure I get what I want out of my life. These are not necessarily bad things, but I meet a lot of unsatisfied and unhappy people here.

Thankfully, each of the countries I've visited abroad have taught me the complete opposite. They have shown me that family and friends are more important than my schedule, to put other people and their feelings before myself, and hospitality in the face of poverty. These things continue to profoundly affect my life and my thinking; I'm glad I've had the opportunity to meet such great people (of course there are great people here too).

Privileges are not bad, but I know a lot of joyful people with dirt floors and no cars. I want to know in my heart that if my stuff suddenly went away, I would still have joy.


I've been thinking...

I've been thinking lately. Usually that is not a good thing because it means I'm worrying about something. Thankfully, I've been thinking about what it means to "be" the church in our world and in my city.

Many circumstances and conversations continue to drive me back to this topic. I still don't have any definite answers, but I'm beginning to see what it is not. It is not selfish, convenient or easy, and it does not come naturally. I heard a great statement recently from a pastor in Florida. He said, "Church is not something to be evaluated for personal benefit." Wow! This just really drives it home for me, and it is a great reminder that worship is NOT ABOUT ME.

All I know is that I must continue to saturate my life with God's word and stay on my knees in prayer. I can never become comfortable with where I am and think that I have it all together. Those are just a few of the things that I think will assist me in figuring out how to boldly live out my faith each day.

What does being the church look like for you?



Have you ever been bored at work? I hate to admit it, but I have been really bored so far this week. It is only Wednesday, and I'm already loathing what is left of this work week. I'm living for the weekend. I actually read a whole design magazine today, imagine that. I can't remember the last time I've read one cover to cover in one sitting. Why am I unable to enjoy this down time in my work schedule? Do other people have this problem? Do other people actually wish that they had more work to do? I do!

I know that pretty soon I'm going to regret that statement. Design projects will consume my days, and I'll wish that I had a moment to take a breath. Until then, I guess I'll try to appreciate this time that God has given me.