Christmas and it is happening around the world.
People are caught up in materialism and want to be appreciated, loved, accepted and “normal.” study people and things and places and often wonder why it is, people deceive themselves into thinking that tomorrow, things will be better.
Sure, there is temporary pleasure and there are plenty of opportunities for folks to be comfortable but the things of this world are… well, they are temporary and the things that are coming, are coming for all of us. Life, birth, death and the things beyond are there for all of us. Each of us is living a life filled with pain and suffering.
I read the news. War, famine and trouble nearly everywhere and yet, one family has … something and their neighbor, down the street or on the waterfront, has nothing. If the pain is close, a close family member or someone we can mentally be a part of, we might deny ourselves something and maybe make changes in something but if we can (and with TV and the internet, we find it simple) we tone out and turn down the cries of the needy and ignore everyone we can for the sake of being happy or on our own. Stuck in our own little area of the world, we seek to be happy and well fed no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
I just want to be … normal. I want to have a family with friends and sit around on Sunday, watching football. I want a house full of stuff and things I can have around, even if I never use them. I want to be free of care and pain and if someone else is, I am sorry but I have my own broken fishing reel and my car needs new speakers. Selfishness is acceptable for me but not for you.
When I am hurting and in pain, you should do something. When you are hurting and in pain, perhaps a little more volume on the football game, some more chips and food and maybe, if I am feeling better, later, and have no immediate needs, I will drop a bit more in the plate at church or give away my new shirt (the one that does not fit anyway).
But, why should I care about them? They are way, way, way over there and if they are right down the street, suffering from cold and exposure, what is that to me? God did not make me just to deny myself and help others. That is for the strange ones, those that are – out there, praying and fasting and living a life of solitude –
I watch as people go from poverty and pain to some success and become involved in materialism. A little rest, a little folding of the hands and, oh yeah, turn up the volume for me. No, I have that new remote control. I have a car (next one will be better). I have food (new appliances are on the way). I have and I am happy and can no longer remember being poor and cold and devastated by that stupid hurricane or war or famine. It really doesn’t matter, I mean … I was helped and am now comfortable, why go out of my way to help others? It certainly is not my fault they are in pain, suffering from disasters or wars or famines or, well… whatever. I am not my brothers keeper.
Still, if things go wrong, I am sure that there will be those “do gooders” out there that will give all they have to help me (again). I deserve help. So, please stop by the store and bring me some stuff so I can turn up the volume and ignore the pain, suffering and ugliness of, well… whatever out there. I used to spend my time helping people but they just did not appreciate it.
Please, pass me the chips and a drink. I am going to do something good but I have all these parties to go to. I am not going to help those in need but I am going to go to the ones that have good food and are warm. I am Ok and that is important. Them? I will think about them when I am one of them but right now, I think I will take a nap and forget about all that pain and suffering.