there is a middle aged fellow who, quite regularly, comes into the Starbucks I work at. Every time he comes in he's talking about job prospects out in the rich west; be it working on an oilfield, or as a truck driver somewhere, or whatever. In fact, he left Winnipeg a couple months ago and headed for B.C. for a big money job, but was misled as to what he was actually going to be paid. So he returned.
Last night he came in for a coffee, and once again he was talking about the money to be had out west. He was talking about some position in Alberta, I'm sure on an oilfield, where 18 year olds are making $15,000/week...(which I hardly believe), and he said something interesting as he finished talking about that and was leaving, "That's what I need."
Immideately my mind had flash images of mom's and dad's, children, and grandparents in our third world contries who can only wish for $15.00 a week, and that would be incredible for them. By the way, most of the world lives on less than $1.00 a day...Which if you do the math is $7.00 a week...Not quite $15,000/wk. My soul was filled with grief as I realized the kind of trickery and false hope that has gripped so many of us North Americans.
Now I know that we live in North America, and nobody could live on $1.00 a day here, but let's think about it; What do we really need?
It's been blowing my mind to read about Jesus these days in light of all this, because Jesus definately was not shooting for $thousands of dollars per week. In fact Jesus says, "don't even make that your primary concern...what should be primal in you (if you are my true disciple) is my Kingdom...a kingdom that worries about the hungry, the thirsty, the broken, the down and out...these are to be your concerns. If you seek this out first, then you will be fine in these other things you so easily worry about." Jesus tells us, the smartest creatures on earth, to take a lesson from ordinary sparrows..."Look at the birds of the air, they do not stockpile in barns or store away just in case things might run out...they know they will be fed, they know they will be okay... If you only knew how much more important you are to me than sparrows, you'd realize how silly it is to spend all your time worrying about money things."
Now, if I think back to the man that comes into starbcuks always worried about money, I could say; "now here's a perfect example of the opposite of what Jesus is saying, a man that lacks trust, a man that focuses on all the wrong things..."
I am that man so often, and I need help to make the Kingdom of God my primary desire over any other thing this world could ever offer me...
Help me to trust your better way of living.
"Aim at Heaven, and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you will get neither."