I am feeling humbled. Last night Vince, Nick, Vinny and I watched the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness". If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It is an incredible movie and is based on a true story, which always intrigues me even more.
If you have seen it already, then you prolly know how I am feeling. If you haven't, I won't spoil it for you. I will just tell you that it's about a man and his son who are homeless for a time. They carry their belongings around in a suitcase. One suitcase. His son's only posession is his basketball. No toys. No anythings. I can't imagine what it is like to not have a home. I honestly can't comprehend the loneliness, the emptiness, the fear. And when you have a child that you can't provide for, how must that feel for a parent?
As I walk around our home and see all that we have, the abundance of things...stuff...everywhere. I am humbled. We have far more than we need. More than we will ever need. I know watching a movie like this should make me feel blessed by all that we have. But honestly, I feel guilty. I feel so very selfish. Yesterday we made a trip to Sam's Club to stock up on some groceries, some of which are still sitting in a box in our kitchen because we don't have room for everything. Our pantry and cupboards are full. Our frig and freezers are full. All while many of our fellow human beings, no less deserving than I, are living in cardboard boxes and wondering where their next meal will come from.
I am humbled. I am thankful. We are blessed beyond measure. And I realize that we are the ones Jesus was talking about in this scripture:
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:25
I never used to put myself in that "rich" category that Jesus was referring to. I always thought he was talking about the really wealthy people in America - the ones with mansions and yachts and millions of dollars. But the truth is, I am rich. And so are you. If you are reading this, you are wealthier than the majority of humans on the planet. It is so easy in our society to get caught up in wanting more, accumulating more things, that we so often forget that we are already rich. I think it is hard for us to enter the kingdom of God because in our abundance and perceived self-reliance, we think we don't need Him. In our quest to accumulate more things, we forget that Jesus is the only thing, the only One who satisfies the longings of our hearts. And we don't see the poverty that exists in our own hearts.
Those who live in poverty have a much easier time seeing their need for God and rushing to His throne, because they have little else on earth in which to put their hope. But when we seem to have all that we "need" in life, we don't see it. The truth is, not only are we all rich by the world's standards...in God's eyes we are all homeless. No matter how many "things" we surround ourselves with, no matter how high we can fill our shopping carts, it all means nothing apart from Christ. We live in utter poverty until Jesus breathes his Spirit into our hearts and gives us the abundant life that He desires to give. Which may or may not include "things". When I realize that these "things" might pile up so high that I can't see God clearly, suddenly being homeless doesn't look so bad.
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:8