Sunday, October 12, 2008

Do not trust in uncertain riches... but in the living God- I Timothy 6:17

I shared this on a frua (families of russian and ukraine adoption- thousands of members) thread this afternoon. I had been following along some threads that asked about things like,"Are you worried? or How to survive an economic depression one that asked should we even continue to adopt with the economic times like they are?" It is partly from my own writings and partly from a page in our church bulletin this am... questions like this are interesting to me to read because all most all the responses are "worldly". I know frua is made up of people of all faiths and walks so I am praying the Lord will use my sharing to encourage someone.... to seek the Lord. I also expect many flames. Let me know what you think....

Do not trust in uncertain riches... but in the living God, I Timothy 6:17. Some of what I am going to share will most likely cause most of you to cringe or at least desire to strongly flame.. but that is ok. I feel a great desire to share my perspective on this and another thread about "Are you worried..." Let me start with a "snapshot": Poverty vs. Wealth Many of the people around the world live in desperate conditions. The chasm between the rich and the poor continues to grow to staggering proportions. Read these statisitics slowly and deliberately: Twenty percent of the world live on one dollar a day. Another 20 percent live on two dollars a day. Twenty percent of us live on more than seventy dollars a day. The remaining 40 percent are somewhere in between.The combined income of the 447 wealthiest people in the world is more money than the combined income of 50 percent of the world's population. 447 people have more money than the combined assests of 3.25 billion people in the world. From a character in Richard Dooling's riveting novel White Man's Grave is an Americian who moved to Sierra Leone where he has become fully immersed as a local. After 5 yrs away from the US, Sisay describes the sickening experience he had going back for a brief visit to the US:
I resolved to sit on my mother's front porch and soak up some American life to remind myself of what I have left behind. It was Saturday. My mom's next door neighbor, a well groomed, weight-gifted, vertically challenged accountant named Dave, brought out a leaf blower, a lawn mower, a leaf grinder, a mulcher, an edger and a weed trimmer. He worked all day making a terrific racket, chopping,trimming, and spraying toxins on a small patch of ground, which produced absolutely no food, only grass. The rest of the world spent the day standing in swamp water trying to grow a few mouthfuls of rice,while Dave sat on his porch with a cold beer admiring his chemical lawn. Sickening? It was time for him to go back to Africa.
Americans make up 5 percent of the world, but we consume 50 percent of the world's resources. We consume half of the world's resources. The problem of hunger in the world is not the earth's ability to produce food for 6.5 billion people:it's the inequitable distrubution of food.
There is a 7 yr old boy in Delhi who is among the 95 percent of the world who are not Americans. Ravi works ten to twelve hrs a day, seven days a week shining shoes on the streets of Delhi. Ravi faces four yrs of bonded labor in order to pay back a thirty-five dollar loan his parents took out for his sister's wedding. Ravi will spend the next 4 yrs paying off a debt that is less than what we spend on a dinner out.
More than 2 billion children live in our world- half in poverty. One of every 4 children in the world has to work instead of going to school. Eight percent of the people of the world own a car.
PERSPECTIVE. Perspective on"need". Perspective on "hunger". Perspective on "money". Do you feel as if you are living paycheck to paycheck?You may be, and my point is not to diminsh the financial challenges facing us today.But it is all about perspective.It's about "serving" with eyes wide open.It is about living with a peace that surpasses all understanding and worldly knowledge. It is putting my trust in a "living" God.... not one you just read about or hear of. It is experiencing a life giving breathe of air in this very stale and stagnate world of ours that may be dealing with an economic crisis like we never have before... it is mostly knowing in my deepest "knower" that I am loved and cared for and forgiven and will be provided for... even if we loose "everything".


Kevin and Pam said...

I like the post. It is a hard lesson to learn at first. I believe God needs to open eyes. I know He had to do that with us. Money was our primary concern in getting started in this whole process. God has been so faithful to us and blessed us in so many ways for taking that "risk" we thought we we were taking. Not just financial blessings either, the blessing of knowing what He calls us to do He is faithful in helping us cary out!

Jim, Debbie Hambrick said...

Amen and Amen! I remember one of the Yanomamo that made a trip to the states. When asked what he was most amazed at he said "the size of our trash cans"! Put things into perspective for me one more time! We are Blessed Beyond measure! no matter how bad it gets, God will provide, maybe not our "wants", but He will provide our needs, HE IS FAITHFUL!