Monday, September 8, 2008

I am affluent

(For those of you who haven't heard of it, the acronym APLS stands for Affluent Persons Living Sustainably. I found this group of people who are like minded online and have enjoyed reading blog entries and discussion posts. The latest APLS topic has been defining affluence and I feel inclined to join in. Please understand that even though the presidential election is coming up, I am not attempting to 'politicize' this issue. I'm not trying to make you agree w/me or vote for some candidate or anything, I'm just hoping to give you a window into my mind. I meditated on this topic today and this is just a rambling post of my thoughts this morning...)
I am Mel and I am affluent.
I wake up, on top of two different kinds of mattresses and under a pile of blankets (I'm always cold!). Some people in my own community sleep on the floor. I stumble to the bathroom and remember people I have met w/o indoor plumbing. I can hear my son coming down the steps. Our house has 4 bedrooms for 3 people. It holds all our stuff and then there's a garage which holds even more. Some people don't have a vehicle, bikes, clothes, toys, and random other stuff so they don't need all the space. Other people just don't have the means for the stuff or the house. I think about Moses. We wanted to have a baby so bad and struggled w/infertility. We had lots of doctor appointments, tests, medications...some people don't have access to medical care at all, much less good medical care. When the little guy was born, we received sooo many nice gifts! We took a lot of those things we 'needed' for granted, I'm sure. We open the cupboard that contains 4 boxes of cereal, discuss other options like eggs, home made granola, or toaster waffles. None of this stuff was hard to obtain or make. The grocery store is 5 blocks away and they never have empty shelves. We are never hungry or lack ingredients to make basic dishes. After breakfast I flip on Sesame Street. Moses has picked up a lot of colors, numbers, shapes and concepts like frustration, surprise and imagination w/help from that show. He is a kid who will never be denied an education. He is so smart already and we have many options to further his education. We go to the library a lot. Some people never see that many books in their lifetime! I start the water in the tub so it gets hot. It's clean and flows freely. I can 'afford' to let it run. We wash dishes, pick up toys, play games, ride bikes outside...there are material things everywhere. My husband is at work, a job he is adjusting to. We can't complain, he works around a 40 hour week and makes a decent salary, a huge salary by many others' standards. Rarley does he need to put in extra hours and it never crosses our minds for either of us to find other employment. His working conditions are so good, he is comfortable, safe, and healthy. The schedule is such that he doesn't have classes on Weds, so it makes the week go fast. He also gets summers off. When I think of the vacations we have taken... and the material things - I'm overwhelmed. In Mark 10:21, Jesus spoke of selling everything and following him. What if we did that?? How much money would we have?? $100,000 - maybe twice that? Who knows?? What would I do w/all that money? Jesus said to give it to the poor. Who are they? I think of orphans, mostly. A lot of you know me and my heart for children, so I guess that's why. I never thought of myself as rich. Affluent. But if there was a price tag on everything I have ownership of, if I think of all the blessings in my life that aren't even material things...well, there's a reason I called this blog The Good Life. Even on the worst day, I know in my heart of hearts that I have it WAY better than most. Where does this leave me? I should be in a perpetual state of thanks. That word doesn't even begin to explain the way I feel. I choose to thank God for my blessings in prayer, I sing His praises b/c He provides for me and my family. I am Mel and I am affluent.


Joyce said...

What a great post, Mel! This was a good assignment for making us thankful, wasn't it?

Green Bean said...

I agree with Joyce. I'll admit that before doing this whole APLS thing, I was not a very grateful person, not appropriately consious of how others live.

Wonderful post that reminds us all to be grateful and revel in our good lives.