Over the past few weeks I’ve been working in some areas that are a little rough. Your lower socioeconomic and less affluent sort areas where you would probably lock your car doors and drive past a little faster than usual.
While I didn’t have the most glamorous upbringing, my parents were there for me and I was taken care of nonetheless. We live in a reasonable area and I am grateful for the hard work they did put in to get us where we’re at now. We didn’t ever really see it through any really harrowing or tough times out of the ordinary compared to anyone else – God has always been looking out for us.
Fast forward to now. Because of this I’m not a particularly materialistic person, but I do like nice things. The essentials I guess, but things that last and make me feel good. Not saying that I derive my identity or meaning from these inanimate objects!
I haven’t had a decent car since uni, so I’d like to have something reasonable now that I’m working (nothing too fancy… but a Mustang would be nice hehe) and then I would like a really spiffy motorbike! (Okay… That’s another one of my guilty pleasures) … and I would like to live somewhere nice too…
If you’re following with this train of thought, it’s funny how I can go from one thing, to the next. Almost as if I’m not satisfied enough from the last. Am I satisfied at all, or will I ever be? Maybe you can also relate with this attitude?
While working in these areas I thought to myself “gee I wouldn’t want to live here”, but then today I received a bit of a rebuke from God, followed with solace about this whole contentment complex us humans seem to have issues with, in that we’re never satisfied.
Despite the places I was working, there would always be a silver lining I would find no matter how small. One day I went to this really nice cafe down the road that turned out to be part of a church. The picture attached was this really beautiful garden surrounding a church I was able to sit and have lunch at on another occasion. An attitude of thanksgiving can really change a lot.
It was with these small experiences that put everything back into perspective for me. As Christians we aren’t put here to be comfortable in our happy little lives, isolated from the rest of the world in our perfect little communities. We’re meant to be the light among the darkness, in that we’re to show the world the light of Jesus Christ and what He can offer us.
It’s humbling to know that God has placed me in a particular place now for a particular reason. While on one hand I want to stubbornly fight back for regaining control of my life and doing things I want with it (rather than God), the other side of it is that God is gently taking me to where He knows best even though I may not always see it – and that is what brings true peace and contentment.
While I may not ever come to riches or grandiosity I’m happy with that and I’m learning to be happy as to where God is putting me. It’s from this attitude that I’m ready to receive what He will give me, and letting go of what I want to do. I’m ready to take on what He wants me to do and unload what I want to do (Matthew 11:25-30).
What the world can offer pales in comparison to the promises of Christ, and I would be foolish to substitute it for anything else
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
We all need Jesus. The rich, the poor, the old and the young. Let us pray that the Church and Jesus meet them where they’re at.