A crowd of more than 10,000 people in tin and cardboard shanties cover the side of a hill. One lone water spigot provides semi-fresh water for those people. I can remember days without a shower and being excited just to get a bucket of water for a bath.
Hundreds of people standing in line for the chance at a pair of used eye glasses. Panic ensues as the waiting people recognize the long line and the supply of glasses make it unlikely they will get a pair.
The above represent memories from trips to third world countries. In the midst of extreme lack I can remember seeing the extreme gratitude and contentment of the people. They were even willing to share out of their lack. In the midst of their impoverished existence they were grateful.
Can I just go ahead and admit that I am often challenged to be grateful for what I have because I want more? If I am real honest I would even admit that I have spent masses of time entangled in the thought that I am entitled to have more than I have and as a result I am not content. I expect more.
As a not for profit organization leader attempting to raise thousands of dollars every week, I often find myself in the crosshairs of being so caught up in the need for more that I don’t make the time to be grateful. After all I am seeking to fulfill the mission of God and I need money to see that happen. Said another way, because I am doing the work of the Lord I am entitled to more.
I might even get some support from my friends that would quote Jesus, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. “ (John 10:10 ESV) Somehow I have been thinking that entitlement is not what Jesus meant. Another question to ponder is do I define life abundantly or is that the Lord’s role?
I know I can sure enough spend a great more time expressing gratitude for the great grace of our Lord.
What do you think? Do you find yourself entangled in entitlement?