Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shake What Yo' Mamma Gave You

So it's been a terribly long time since I've written anything. I was reminded of this fact by my sister, who has no room to talk because she writes about every three months or so. And even though she's probably the only person that noticed the lack of new text on this page, I do feel bad for not having written. I have had good excuse, however. The last couple weeks before spring break, I was working my tail of on a couple papers for school. It was pretty much homework from lunch till bed every day, so it was not the most fun time of my life. Then, from March 13-22 I went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where four others and I worked at Mision Caribe. It was my first big international trip, and I absolutely loved it, and I'm anxious to go back. We did a ton of different stuff: preaching at churches, visiting people in their homes, going to a hospital and and a nursing home, teaching at a school, painting a lot, eating Chinese food, getting schooled in soccer, nearly dying. And I'm always happy to talk about it more with those who care to hear.

On the trip, I was talking some with Melissa Scott (who's a former Ozark student and now works at the mission) about how visas work. She was telling me that it's pretty hard for a Honduran to get a visa to come to the United States, even just for a visit. I found it surprising that much of the difficulty isn't from the U.S. refusing to issue visas. Rather, the Honduran government is not quick to let its citizens go to the the U.S. With the Honduran economy not especially prosperous, the country doesn't want its people running off to other nations to work or whatever.

This conversation, mixed with a lot of the other things I saw in Honduras, made me realize just how privileged we Americans are. People are complaining about how bad our economy is right now, but the truth of it is that we are the richest and most advantaged people in the history of the world. So many Hondurans can't get far outside their borders, but Americans can go just about wherever they please. What are we doing with all of our status and resources?

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 says, "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." God gives us things. He allows us to have resources. One pastor I know of with nice, slicked-back hair would say that this is because God wants you to have "Your Best Life Now." But I don't think that this is the case. God provides resources so that we can be generous with them. They're not meant for us. We function as distributors. What we have really isn't meant for us, but it should flow through us to the world.

Along the same vein, Luke 12:48 says, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." The Spider-man quotation may be a little cliche, but perhaps it rings true: "With great power comes great responsibility." We have so much, so we have incredible responsibility. We have religious freedom and all kinds of Christian resources at our disposal. We can go anywhere in the world and have the money to get us there. And so, we have a duty to take Christ to the world and to mend the world's hurts and care for those who don't have anything.

But what do we do? We spend our time and resources going to SeaWorld or shoving cheeseburgers down our throats or buying iPods or whatever. Meanwhile the world goes on as always, with most people not even knowing that Jesus loves them, scraping to get by. But we've got better things to do, I guess. After all, American Idol is down to ten people.

1 comment:

Kinsey said...

I agree completely with be generous! Did you know that the U.S. only give .7% of the Budget to Poverty outside the U.S.? Isn't that insane? good post David!