Monday, December 3, 2012

1st World Problems

Last week, the alarm clock on my iPhone went off at 6:30am. I had to get up, go to work as a substitute teacher, and it was cold! I was grumpy and tired. Every so often the heater in my house kicks off and doesn't work, so I have to go and flip the switch on the furnace and wait for it to kick in. Needless to say, getting out of a warm bed to walk across the house and flip the switch was not the best way to start the morning for me. I'm not a fan of mornings, and I'm not a fan of the cold. I stop by my coffee maker, which can make a whole pot or a single cup, and made myself a nice cup of coffee. Later that day, I went to my actual job. By the time I got home, I was tired and wanted a shower. I was in the shower and it finally occurred to me, I have warm running water. Everything else, the cold house, the early alarm, those are 1st world problems. Let me explain - a 1st world problem is just a problem that people in developed countries, such as the USA, would have. You may have heard some... "My job uses IBM Lotus Notes as our emailing client." "I leaned a bit too much forward and the toilet flushed automatically before I was finished." "I heard a good song but it had no lyrics so I can't google it." In my case: "the alarm on my iPhone went off too early and I had to flip a switch to get my heat back on." Kinda pathetic (if not somewhat humorous) when we think about it. If our biggest problem is that our email client is Lotus Notes or we can't google a song (or our iPhone goes off) we don't really have a problem. The way I see it, many people have never used email, wouldn't need to google a song, and certainly have no use for an iPhone. These are people who still need to be reached for God, and using these gadgets isn't going to reach them. On the other hand, if we're going to be ambassadors for Christ, if we're going to reach those in the United States, we need to be relevant. We need to understand and embrace our 1st world problems. We need to embrace the people who share in these problems with us. We can't be so far removed from the culture around us that we aren't making an impact in the lives of those we come into contact with. The people in 3rd world countries don't need google, but they do need Jesus. People in 1st world countries need google...and Jesus.

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