Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Own Nothing

Pride of ownership is something almost everybody in my generation grew up learning about. Owning your first bicycle that wasn't a hand me down. Owning first car, house, whatever - we were taught to be proud.
A few days ago I picked up a copy the annual Forbes Magazine that reports on the richest 400 people in the USA - this group of people is pretty unique in that the club that they belong to requires a net worth of at least one billion US dollars. That amount of money is just about impossible for me to imagine. It is one thousand times one million dollars. WOW. my guess is that there is a lot of pride of ownership among these 400 people and their families.
Near the end of the magazine there was about 4 pages dedicated to the memory of people that were removed from the list because they were no longer part of the living. Made me think - mostly a dangerous thing.
My thoughts were actually about how some of the rich might have felt compelled to protect their wealth and resources - for whatever reason, people generally feel compelled to do everything they can to protect what they have worked hard for - I mean it is only natural to fight for what is rightfully your own. Then, at the end of the day - none of it really matters because every one of us meets the very same end - although the vast majority of us never get our death notice in Forbes 400.
So, even though I am not a Bible expert, I can read and it is pretty clear that choosing to be a follower means that our entire attitude about the ownership of stuff and our attitude toward it should have changed or should be changing. The story of the rich young ruler tells it all. The story of the brand new believers in Acts tells about people that didn't consider anything they had as their own - if anyone needed help, the believers provided. They sold land, things, whatever needed to share. Pride of ownership gave over to humble serventhood.
What if we decide that we will actually live in a way that reflects these attitudes? Instead of claiming our price of ownership, we look for the everpresent opportunity to share everything we have. Trusting Jesus when he said that we don't have anything to worry about. He takes care of the birds of the are and cares for us so much more than that.
How much of our burden of the world would be released if we really do have the attitude "I Own Nothing". That is what Jesus himself said isn't it? Then Paul later told all of us, you should all have the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.
Give it up and Gain everything.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pet Peeves

My Claro satellite TV has the big USA networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, & Fox - much better than the last system that had none of these but, had some pretty decent news stations. This morning I turned the TV to watch some news and my choice for the day was ABC's Good Morning America. There is tons of newsworthy stuff happening in the world right now like the civil distress in Libia, the current oil price rise, the economy, etc. None of these things led the "news" on GMA, nope the lead story was about Charley Scheen and his problems. Unbelievable.
I really didn't stress too much about the failure of ABC to report the news but, it did make me think about some of those pesky things that end up being called "pet peeves". Some of mine are quirky and some - I think would bug anybody. Here in no certain order are 10 things that bug me enough to be called a pet peeve.
1. When people use "facts" that just haven't been checked for accuracy - that bugs me. For instance, a friend for years has said that an old church in Honduras is the oldest one in the west. An easy check on this showed me that the oldest church is in the Dominican Republic, not Honduras.
2. Similar to number 1, using statistics that logic would easily show were not correct. Recently somebody quoted a "statistic" about violent deaths in Honduras that - if true would have meant that about 1 out of 5 people would be dead in 3 years. Violence is bad but not that bad.
3. Bugs me when somebody smacks gum, or stands behind me and eats crunchy food. (quirky)
4. Arguing over things that don't make any difference - a peeve that I am trying to no longer participate in.
5. People that won't allow their friend the missionary pick up the tab at a restaurant.
6. Oil futures go up at 8 AM and gasoline prices go up at 8:01.
7. Oil futures go down at 8 AM and gas prices go down at 8:01 - three weeks later.
8. Holier than thou people that have never lifted a finger to help somebody.
9. Arrogance.
10. Greed
So, that is the list. What bugs you?
What doesn't bug me is living and working in Honduras. I am blessed with the best job in the world and today was another great day in Honduras.