By Molly Simpson
Christmas time! Undoubtedly, a Christian child’s favorite time of the year. Now having five children of my own, the pressure to fulfill every Christmas wish was suffocating me. My husband was unemployed and the bill collectors took no notice of the Season or the circumstances. We had never been extravagant or overly generous in our gift giving, but this year, even coal in stockings was seeming like it was out of reach. I called my sister, the one who seemed to have the Midas Touch, hoping for some words of comfort and cheer. I cried on her shoulder for a bit and told her of my distress. She listened patiently to my plight and when I was through, she asked me some penetrating questions. “Do you know where you will sleep tonight?” What kind of question was that? I answered still wondering what her intentions were, “Yes”. She asked another, “Do you know where your next meal will come from?”. Growing a little indignant, I responded, “Of course!” With her final question, I started to pick up on the pattern. “Do you own more than one pair of shoes?” She knew I did. She informed me that I was wealthier than ninety-eight percent of the Earth’s population. Whoa. In one second flat, my circumstances went from bleak to blessed.
For those of us who live in abundant societies, feeling lack is surprisingly commonplace. With the onslaught of pseudo success portrayed from every form of social media, feeling slighted can be second nature, if we are not careful about keeping the larger picture in perspective. I am not an eye specialist, but I think many of us need a new set of perspectacles.
Presently, many societies struggle to meet their basic needs. Just about any country has on display, people in some of the most bleak appearing circumstances.
In our first world culture, these struggling societies can easily be forgotten when all we see around us is abundance. Even our society of wealth has originations in struggle and poverty. All we need when feeling weighed down by what we don’t have, is to look back just a few generations to the Great Depression or further back to the pioneer migration. So many stories of extreme lack, ignorance, illness, and even death. We can instantly become part of the wealthy, healthy, and wise crowd, when we reflect on our ancestors and how far we have advanced in every area of life.