Each visit to California reminds me that most Americans have no idea that their “normal” is actually unusual. There is no other place that one can live within each reach of a Home Depot or Lowe’s. Yes, I know they are not in every county, however most cities of any size have one. For those unfamiliar, these are football pitch sized stores that specialize in hardware, tools, building supplies, and anything remotely in that genre. There are few places in the world that have the variety of grocery stores, department stores, and malls.
If this is not enough, there is internet-shopping and inexpensive shipping. Two-day delivery is normal. One-day delivery is not particularly special. Same day delivery is the competitive edge. When you add competitive pricing on almost everything, you end up with the ability to do anything at anytime. Engine blocks, printer supplies, and the latest music are at your fingertips.
Most Americans take this for granted. Individuals are annoyed when weather slows things down. Others are frustrated when something is not available. It is easy for forget that most in the world would be happy for running water and a safe place to call home.
In this context I find myself reflecting on what I already have. I know I am loved. I have a sense of belonging. I have a God that cares deeply about who and what I am. Paul’s reminder is true! “Everything is already yours as a gift—Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future—all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.” (1 Corinthians 3.22, 23)
The only question I have is one of remembering. Do I?
If I look at my actions, I think I have forgotten. My greed trumps the compassion others give me. My demands suggest that I do not have enough even though I have everything.
Today is an opportunity to share what I have with others. It is an opportunity to be part of making a difference.