July 19, 2012

Consider this

After getting home from Nicaragua, I felt like royalty. We have so, so much - but it's easy to not realize, and take for granted.

I mean think about it . . . we walk around as if we're in control of our lives, but then you stop and think. I have been given so many opportunities and gifts simply for being born in this country. I had a wonderful childhood. I was born into a loving family and had a comfortable lifestyle - I did not choose the socioeconomic class I was born into, I did not choose my parents or my family, I did not choose the city or state or hospital I was born in . . . I was placed into public school, given opportunities and choices that I would not have if I had been born in another country. The peers that surrounded me growing up, the people who have been placed in my life, the circumstances that have fallen around me - none of these things were in my control, honestly.

My life would be so different if any of those little things had been adjusted, and my life would be drastically different if I was born into another country. What if I lived in a third world country, was born into poverty and never had the chance to learn how to read? What if I was born into an abusive family? What would my life look like?

The possibilities are endless. It's stunning to think that even the tiniest of details could affect the way my life is now . . . and how really, none of these things are in my control. I have to believe that God placed me here for a reason - I find it to be clearer than ever. If He is fully sovereign, that is the conclusion. I find myself asking, "why?" . . . but maybe I won't figure it out right now, maybe even ever.

In our culture, we are constantly taught that life is all about us. It's all about self-gratification, self-discovery, and how you should do whatever makes you feel good, whatever makes you happy. We walk around with this false sense of entitlement that you can even see in the kids over here. But . . . this trip, along with God knocking me upside the head a few times, has reminded me that everything we have is pure grace. We have been so insanely, richly blessed.

And not only that, but these things - our finances, education, security, comfort, possessions, false sense of control - all of these things can blind us from seeing how deep our need for and dependence on God is.

The people in Nicaragua and other countries do not have the luxuries that we have . . . more often than not, they're just trying to survive, while our society is out trying to experience everything, running after the pursuit of happiness or the American dream . . . 

All I know to do right now is to respond in gratitude for the crazy blessings He has given me and to keep running to Him. To remember that material things, experiences, creature comforts, relationships, careers - none of these things were meant to satisfy the longings of our souls. Only God can fill that gaping hole that we are trying so desperately to cram everything else into.

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