Thursday, March 15, 2012

"1st World" Problems

I know that's all I have.  Unfolded clean laundry in laundry baskets washed by a washing machine is definitely a "1st world" problem.  And, truthfully, it is not really a problem.  More along the lines of an inconvenience.

My daughter was in a play "Everything I Learned I Learned in Kindergarten," and one of the sketches portrayed a young man working the night shift with an older gentleman who had survived the holocaust.

The young man was complaining ad nauseum about the cafeteria food and how the cost was being taken out of his paycheck and on and on and on.  The older gentleman finally stopped him and essentially said: You need to learn the difference between inconvenience and problem.  They are not one and the same.

Me too.

There's this sense of entitlement in my life that says that I am "owed" a certain level of living and if I don't get that level of living then my rights are being violated and, by golly, somebody is going to pay (or get sued since that seems to be the route to go these days).

In my sister's Starbuck days, she told a story of a woman who ordered a hot drink, went to her Mercedes, spilled it, and then came in and yelled at my sister.  What?

And I point to that woman and say to myself, Who does she think she is anyway?  And there I've gone and judged her for what I, mostly subconsciously, do everyday...think that somebody must owe me for the trouble I go through...somebody is to blame (not me).

Trouble?  Do I really have that much trouble in my life?

If I had the extra time I'd scoot over to Merriam Webster's site and get the definition and show the difference between trouble and inconvenience, but I get what I mean and hopefully you will too.

Spilled coffee in a car, unfolded clean laundry, house not picked up because we own too much STUFF, frayed vacuum belt, broken bowl, children crying, interruptions, etc...I can't even think of what I might have on a normal basis that would even come close to being a problem in the real sense of the word.

Now, I'm not belittling how I feel about these things.  God doesn't weigh my angst against someone else's who has literal war going on all around them.  He sees and cares about my individual needs and circumstances as He sees and cares about those of someone living in a war-torn country.

But there's no guarantee that I'll always just have inconveniences.  In fact, there is the reality that I will have trouble at some point...(and I have had trouble, just not today and not really daily for quite some time now).

I better stop wasting time.  I better take advantage of this time to get thanksgiving as a lifestyle ingrained within me so that when true trouble shows up in my day, I'm not scrambling.  Well, I may scramble, but if I've worn the groove of thanksgiving deep enough, I will, hopefully...eventually, fall into that groove.

Just to be clear, I'm not afraid of the future (mostly).  I'm not thinking that trouble is just around the corner, but since Jesus said that in this life I will have trouble, I do know it is going to happen.

And I won't be surprised when it comes.  I won't be unprepared because today and tomorrow and then next day I am going to continue to practice this discipline of giving thanks in everything, albeit somewhat imperfectly.


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