As I was driving home last night, I noticed the car in front of me. Their passenger side door was partially opened. Fearing the worst that could happen, I changed lanes and went to pass them. As I got beside them, I noticed why the door was open. They had a TV in their backseat that was wider than their car. I thought, “First world problems.” Then I glanced over to the right and saw Target and Best Buy’s parking lot. They were completely full and people were driving around looking for a place to park. “More first world problems,” I thought.
I’m not against having things or Black Friday shopping. I’ve just had my perspective adjusted by the realities of how the rest of the world lives. God has blessed us beyond measure and we don’t even realize it most of the time. He has opened the windows of Heaven on us and poured out blessings so much that we just assume this is how it’s supposed to be. The reality is that 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day according to GlobalIssues.com. That’s just over $3,000 a year. Sure the cost of living is less, but not so much that you can have quality things at that rate.
I’m not going to ask you to give up a coffee a day or to give to some great cause. I’m simply going to ask you to be thankful for what God has given you. Acknowledge Him as the source of your income and be mindful of the blessings He’s given to you. Understanding the realities that other people live in helps adjust our perspective of the “problems” we have here. Knowing that there are still people in the world that don’t have running water or electricity in their homes to keep them warm should help us to be more thankful. We should believe the saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
We truly have a lot to be thankful for. As you shop today, this weekend or holiday season, keep in mind that you are able to do so because God has blessed you. The long lines you’re in for great deals could very well be long lines to get food or clean water. Instead of complaining because of all the craziness, thank God you have more than enough and can go shopping for all these things. Our first world problems are nothing compared to the third world realities. Our inability to recognize God’s blessings could lead Him to shut those windows and open them on someone else. Stop today and truly give thanks.
Free Friday will resume next week.