It is said that we tend to look backward a generation or so, and think those were the “good old days”. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence, right? What we don’t realize is sometimes that grass is growing on top of the septic tank.
In America, people used to count their blessings, instead of their troubles. People used to work hard in physically demanding work, they had a lot less, and were much more content. People had so few clothes, that a lot of houses built in the 40’s, didn’t even have closets.
Drive past any American house these days, even subsidized housing, and chances are there are 3, 4, 5 cars parked in the yard and driveway.
I will never forget doing Angel Tree one year in particular. It was through a church, and geared toward kids or families who had a parent in prison. We wanted our kids to understand the blessing of giving, not just the “fun” of receiving gifts. We were struggling ourselves, but all the more reason to empathize, right? We prefer to do giving anonymously, for several reasons, not the least of which is that the recipient not be made uncomfortable, but in this instance, the church requested that people deliver in person, the thought being that you invite them to church and maybe give them the gospel, if not directly, then maybe in a card or tract. We brought the items the angel tree family had requested on their angel card, and along with it, brought all of the “fixings” for a traditional Christmas dinner. When we drove to the provided address, it was in a newly built low income housing community. We rang the doorbell and the resident who opened the door was wearing designer jeans, and boots. She invited us in, and we all introduced ourselves. There was a pretty Christmas tree, with a number of wrapped packages, and a very large wide-screen television and nice, new looking furniture. The two children were not there, and the mom didn’t really engage with our effort to connect, so we wished her and her boys a Merry Christmas, invited them to church, and departed. I realize the luxury items she had could have been gifts. If so, nothing wrong with that, but we couldn’t help feeling a bit like we may have just been played. That’s poverty in America. Not for everybody. Some definitely have much less, but there is enough wealth in America that no one should be homeless. The problem is greed and selfishness and such a huge se n.v se of entitlement, as well as a pandemic of corruption.
It’s a mistake to expect that obeying the golden rule, will result in yourself being treated in like kind. There is no such thing as “karma”, and obedience to God garners heavenly, not earthly rewards. If anything,
These days there are still some people who, by choice, live a simplified and streamlined way of life, they build a “tiny house” but pay as much for it as an average sized house.
People used to have an innate consideration of others, but the every-man-for-himself mentality has overtaken the common courtesies and mutual considerations we used to be able to count on.
Have you ever encountered someone who seems to instantly seem hostile toward you, even though you never encountered them before that very moment?
I have to believe an experience like that can only be a spiritual thing. Some spirit in them has an innate hatred of God, and is reacting to the Holy Spirit in you. After it had happened a few times with different strangers, I learned to recognize it and either sidestep it or face it while at least consciously keeping mindful of being hidden in Christ, and in the authority of Christ.
The thing I think I fail to grasp is that everything is spiritual. Everyone is under the authority of one of two masters. As Christians, it would serve us well to view everything with a spiritual eye. I am trying to develop that habit. I think just like folks are unaware of deficits or peculiarities of their own specific upbringing, we all have spiritual backgrounds fraught with blind spots.
The natural physical/worldly eyesight is generally our default. Renewing the mind by the washing by the Word, is the only way to have and maintain good spiritual eyesight.
Here we are. At the end of an age. I still don’t feel like I have figured much out, do you? The longer you live, the more you realize how much you don’t understand. I think old Benjamin Buttons may have been onto something.
We met our first grandbaby yesterday. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t lead off with that. It’s because I know what is going on in this world. Bittersweet. Bittersweet. But I’ll take the bitter to get the sweet. That is just life in this fallen world. Sin as a condition, is a tragic thing. The pain and suffering it causes. God never wanted that for us. People call him an angry god. They judge Him cruel for requiring Jesus to die. They don’t understand He is Jesus. He provided Himself, a lamb. He died in our place. So we could live eternally in His love and benevolence. Even for those who hate Him. He did it to redeem us. That’s why.