Learning to be content…

Waking up on a frigid Wisconsin winter day in our 60 degree home is by choice because we turn down the dial to sleep cozy in a cool room under mounds of blankets during the winter months. It seemed like a journey this morning to walk down the hall go down the stairs through my foyer and living room to turn the dial back up to a warmer 68 degrees. My thoughts quickly, as they often do, turn to my friends in Haiti who live without a dial on their walls to adjust the temperature in their homes – if they have a wall…or a home. Should I feel guilty that my life is easier?
Lingering in the shower while I crank the H-dial to a hotter just less than scalding temperature and it lasts all of 3 seconds because of my guilt in knowing the reality that many who not only don’t have hot water they don’t even have enough water to drink to be properly hydrated – ever.
Breakfast today offered me an abundance of choices yet I opted for the last flakes of two different cereals I picked up from our local organic grocery store with the milk from my refrigerator. I sit cozy and warm at my table perfectly tucked into my bay window; I turn on the nearby lamp to better see my Bible for this mornings inspiration. Yes, I have been blessed to attend school, be able to read, own a Bible, have electricity at the turn of a switch.

Blog picture Feb 2015
I don’t live every day with every moment in abundant guilt yet it seems to happen in waves and I am clearly in one of them now.

I recently came through my first bout of flu. I prayed for healing yet I know my medical provider is a phone call or short drive away in my vehicle…in one of my vehicles… also knowing I have health insurance… because I have a job.  Unlike my friend in Haiti who recently required emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix yet the hospital would not even start without full payment up front; the equivalent of 1800.00 US dollars when the average Haitian may make 200-400 in a year!  Not only that the anesthetic didn’t last as long as the surgery with him waking up and the doctor having to finish stitching him closed while he was tied down! My Haitian friends’ prayers for healing and mine somehow seem different when they may have no other option for healing and I know I do.

How odd that here as an American I have to learn how to be content with more when so many have so much less yet they somehow seem to be more content than myself and most Americans I know. It’s true and you only have to travel to Haiti to experience this reality.  Someone was once asked if they thought of themselves as poor. Their response was ‘no’ because they ‘have many friends’.  Relationships was the basis of defining wealth and poverty.  Here I was thinking it had to do with electricity, running water, enough food and a home and things.  I had learned to define wealth by materialistic measure and they defined wealth in terms of relationships.  I have learned so much from my Haitian brothers and sisters and this is why I just have to keep going back; I once thought I was helping them and now I am certain they are helping me.

I am still struggling to learn this contentment also realizing that by God allowing me to have more I am in a position to give more whether it be time, money, or things.  Giving to people with less things isn’t bringing them happiness or bringing them wealth but it is sharing in what I have and in return they teach me contentment and I witness a relationship they have with our God in a way that I can only hope to achieve as I sit here in America…blessed beyond measure and learning to be content.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s