Taming First World Problems

“Give thanks to the Lord because He is good. His love endures forever.”– Psalm 136:1

Grrrr…. This week my Netflix streaming is taking a billion years again. And saying I am not connected to wi-fi, and asking for my password (which I can’t remember, and have to look up among the other 50+ passwords to get into every other possible project or service I have). I sit, with the loading icon rotating in a clock-wise circle, waiting for access… Hurry…..Uggh….

Back at Easter, I went to the grocery store and wanted to purchase strawberries. I was told by the grocer that the berries came from California and were flooded out, and no one had berries. He showed me a picture of flooded fields and mentioned that one woman had checked in 4 stores, and no berries. I left, irritated that I had to use raspberries instead.

I recently got my car washed and upon driving away, didn’t dry the water droplets. Days later, I look at a back window of dried water drops, and it hampers my view. Sigh.

These are many of the “first world problems” we face everyday. I am reminded of these things as I listen to other people around me fussing about little details of life, and I wonder… how did we get here? Perhaps you’ve heard or said some things yourself. I know I have…. We are irritated because….. someone cuts us off in traffic. Our coffee is served luke-warm. Our smart car or smart house or smart phone is acting up. We had to wait for a delayed flight. Our new puppy isn’t sleeping through the night. The doctor had to reschedule an appointment. The microwave is on the fritz and our packaged dinner isn’t ready in time. And the list goes on and on.

Something grabbed my heart this morning, and it came in the form of an urban sketcher who shared sketches from Bangladesh. Dan Peterson from the UK described unspeakable suffering as he visited Rohingya refugee camp housing 800,000 to a million people, who had left Myanmar behind, as their military and Buddhist citizens slaughtered people and burned their homes. He described the orphans, loaded up in green military tents, the lack of sanitation and water, the many medical units trying to make a difference. You can see his sketches and stories at http://www.urbansketchers.org/2018/05/sketching-in-rohingya-refugee-camp-in.html

Anyway, it got me thinking…. we have it pretty good. Yes, we all have problems, and some more serious than others, but probably most of us do not have problems on the scale of the refugees in Bangladesh. Dan’s work stopped me in my tracks, as I realized how I sometimes complain about my first world problems, when they are really frivolous in comparison to the rest of the world.

Any first world problems bugging you today? Try to tame them by considering the countless blessings God has been dumping on you lately, even when life is rough and the road is hard. Let’s all open our eyes and see what others are going through, and think of ways we can change this world and make it a better place. God calls us to it. Let’s respond.

Prayer–“God of all things, you give me countless blessings, but still I want more. I am not always satisfied with this life you give, yet it is truly a blessing. Forgive me when I complain, turn my heart to you, and give me a thankful spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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