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11.18.2008

Spoiled

I don't know how parents do it. I only watch kids for 2 and a half hours, and they were driving me crazy today. Don't get me wrong, my After School Program is not a bad job. Most of the time, I like it. But days like today...

The kids couldn't go outside during recess today because of the snow (yes, snow). And I didn't take them out, either (maybe I should have!). I've noticed that days like that, the kids just kind of go stir crazy. But the worst part was, they were so whiny.

I don't tell this story to rag on my kids. It just seemed like a good illustration of how I am most of the time. I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us each expect to get things our way. I've worked with kids for years, and I have had some real spoiled brats at times.

But what does it mean to be spoiled? Contextual definition seems to be someone who expects to always have his or her own way, an expectation generally reinforced by surroundings and upbringing. People who are spoiled can't stand any inconvenience or thwarting of his or her will. And they generally have no idea what it is like to be deprived of anything.

I know people say things like this a lot, especially in a shaming way, but Americans are spoiled.

I am spoiled.

I'm not even talking financially. I'm talking about religious freedom.

I've been doing some research lately for a 'party' I'm throwing (ask me about it!). It's been opening--re-opening, really--my eyes to just how much I take for granted. Last Sunday was the International Day of Prayer--a day that was created to give us in America a clearer picture of what our Brothers and Sisters around the world experience as a result of their faith.

I don't mean to sound all preachy and high-horsed about this. I'm just as guilty as anyone. But when I read something that says the Bible is illegal in 52 countries...that just gets to me. I just counted, and I have at least nine copies of the Bible right here in my apartment. Ten, if you count the digital one on my palm. Not to mention the oh-so-accessible Biblegateway.com. And I hardly take the time read any of them. But I am blessed--when I get frustrated or anxious, I can flip to the Psalms and find comfort. Unlike many of my Brothers and Sisters, some of whom share ONE with their entire church. At least they appreciate what they have!

Anyway. I'm still mulling a lot of this over...what it means for me, and how I'm going to let it change me. Especially my attitude. It's Thanksgiving time, and I want to have a thankful heart for the good things that I DO have, and not be whiny about the things I don't.

Let me shout God's name with a praising song,
Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks.
(Psalm 69: 30, The Message)

3 comments:

Grace DeWitt said...

We are spoiled. And as a person who can relate to working with kids in a after school programs KIDS TODAY ARE UUBER SPOILED : P but they have their redeeming qualities, which I'm sure you're aware of.

It is truly a tragedy that the bible is illegal in 52 countries, but like you said they probably don't take it for granted like we do, so God is working that situation out for good.

This was a nice blog, because I'm a serious whiner and I need to remember not to take the life God has blessed me with for granted :) thanks Jessica for your insight and experiences, I love reading your thoughts.

PS: on a semi separate topic here's a quote my mom shared with me today, that I (thankfully) haven't been able to get out of my head:

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship
Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word,
'darkness' on the walls of his cell."- C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

I wish / hope / pray that the church in America will rise up to share the gospel. I think what is happening in our nation is absolutely wonderful. I am totally hopeful that all this economic crisis and congressional liberalism will start forcing us Christians to share our faith, instead of fighting to make sure "our laws" stay in place.

Let's face it. We are where we are because that's what the majority of Americans want. Is it the churchs fault? YES! Because we were too worried about the style of music or how long some guys hair was or not wanting to forgive somebody because they "hurt our feelings". We decided it was less important to share Jesus and more important to just put laws in place. Hmm. Kind of reminds me of some guys called Pharisses. We are spoiled churchy Americans.

Thank you Jessica for being honest. I'm glad I'm not the only one too see this and speak the truth, no matter how unpopular it is.

Happy THANKSgiving Day!
I love you!

Cynthia D

J. M. Richards said...

Thanks for your comments, girls! It's nice to know that at least a couple people still read what I write!!