Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where's the Easy Button??

Let's admit it. We the people of the United States want everything easy. Home cooked meal? Pull one already prepared for you out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and in less than 5 minutes there's your tastes-like-mom's meal. Want to see your friends in Costa Rica? Just skype them. Don't have a computer? Just use your phone. Need to hear the latest song? Pull it up for free on a variety of devices. Forgot your Bible? No problem. There's an app for that. Lacking in romance? Not to worry. Just fill out a little profile about who you are and what you want and sooner or later Mr. Right will find you in six months or less or your next three months of ardent searching is free. Can't remember the words to that new worship song? There's just the technology for that too.

Hear me out. Many of these technological advances are awesome. They do make life easier. They allow us to spend less time doing and more time being...well, that's why they were originally invented, how we chose to use them and fill up our time is another topic all together.

What bothers me is that our society is slipping into forgetting what is a want and what is a need. We think we NEED to have the latest, greatest technology or we won't survive. Yes, neurosurgeons should ABSOLUTELY have the latest and greatest precision electronics and gadgets. They're saving or taking lives. Whether or not I have the most up-to-date iPhone or iPurse or iPatch in the scheme of things is significantly lower on the list of priorities. We have forgotten how to memorize phone numbers except our grandma's, because she's lived in the same house for 50 years and still has a wall phone which hasn't changed since Alexander Graham Bell was still creating telephones (love you, Grandma!!!), so having them all stored IN the phone is so much more practical than in a little book NEXT to the phone. 

While media tells us to focus on us, that's why it's called ME-dia, what we have and what we obviously need to have, they have forgotten completely to remind us of what is still lacked in the majority of the world. Nearly one billion people – that’s 1 in every 6 of us – lack access to safe water. As we are flushing our toilets, brushing our teeth, and taking 15 minute showers, there are others still without the recommended 1.89 liters to drink to keep their bodies healthy. While we happily plunk down almost $5 for a tall, non-fat,  sugar bear, extra whip cream, double the foam, that same money could buy rice, beans, salt, peppers, onions, and oil to feed a family of four.

 Here's what's easy. Supporting others. I'm not here to tell you how to spend your money, but to ask you to think about what you're spending your money on. Isaiah 58 puts it this way:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke? 
 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,

    and your night will become like the noonday.
 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

We're coming up on Christmas. It is a great time to support missions. Consider filling a shoe box with gifts for an African child. Buy a child a goat or chickens through World Vision. Take it a step further and sponsor a child through any of a hundred different organizations. Or support a local missionary from your home church. I can name 7 right now who are very dear to me who could be so blessed by financial support to help them continue their missions in Costa Rica. Now that was easy.

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