This one has several layers doesn't it? Deadly comparisons. Scarcity mentality. Being thankful in all things...
One of the things I struggle with is living in a middle class pocket in the midst of much wealth. Am I thankful that I'm living in the middle class pocket? My well-worn car (quite a few dents and scrapes these days) is much older and more worn than the brand new cars my daughter's friends are getting for their 16th birthdays. I'm still grateful I have a good car with lots of character. I can still pick up a load of kids and drive them places. We have to scrape sometimes to make sure the mortgage, utilities, car payments and insurance get paid, but we have a warm house, lights, cars and insurance.
We don't always have the latest gadgets, but we all have cell phones (who'da thunk it 10 yrs ago), laptops (again, who'da thunk it), TVs with internet connection and lots of movie/shows (like we really need that), and plenty of wheels.
We have so much and there are many who have so little. I ponder sometimes the folks who have so much (myself included). It's easy, I think, to grow callous or get caught up in a cycle of "needing" more stuff when we have more than enough. My children really feel it at school. I feel bad for them sometimes because it's hard for them to see outside of it, even when we try to give them perspective.
I recall our honeymoon to Jamaica where we stayed at a posh resort but ventured into the back country and up in the mountains and saw such poverty - people living in tiny little shacks on the side of the road, preparing meals over an open fire outside, children selling coffee beans to tourists. The contrast was stark. But the reality is that 1% of the population was growing richer while the rest grew poorer, and most of the profits were being sent to the US, where the owners of the resorts live.
It's good for us to be confronted with that from time to time. We see it on the streets of Detroit, but it's easy to side-step and ignore as we race from tournaments to malls to appointments, bemoaning our lot instead of being thankful that we can.
Being satisfied with what we have requires that we see beyond our stuff and being grateful for the breath we draw, beautiful sunrises, the people who color our lives and give us joy, the God who makes it all possible. Thank you Lord, for all these things and much more. Amen.
I'm a wife, mom, pastor, human...probably not in that order. I struggle each day to be faithful to God, to my family and to my call as a Christian and all of those previously-mentioned roles. I pray to be positive, kind and thoughtful, but tend to fall short on all counts. I am inspired by sunrises and enjoy taking pictures (mostly my kids, deer in the yard and sunrises). I waste time playing stupid computer games and wishing I'd been better at all of the aforementioned roles. ;-)