I’ll be honest with you: there’s a lot in my life that I can complain about. My job has made it almost impossible to see my friends. My homework has made it almost impossible to find time to breathe. My teaching practicum–which is required for my class–is located about 40 minutes away from my home…without traffic. I’m not in control, and it makes me want to complain.
There’s a popular hash tag on twitter: #firstworldproblems. This usually implies that there is a problem someone has that normally would not be a problem, but because we have become so spoiled and dependent on stuff, the situation is a serious crisis. A first world problem could be that my phone died while at my friend’s house, or that we ran out of chocolate pudding so now I have to eat jello for dessert. Hey, at least you HAVE a phone. Hey, at least you HAVE dessert. Even more, at least you have food!
It seems that we have begun to take these gifts, these blessings, for grsnted. We expect our cell phones to work at all times. We expect dessert after every meal. We expect our jobs to perfectly fit into our schedules. We expect homework to take ten minutes. We expect control, and we expect instant results.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. There just aren’t enough resources to support everyone’s desire. That’s why we have to sacrifice. That’s why we can’t always get what we want. That is…we can’t always get what we expect.
But you know something? God will always give us what we NEED. One thing God always offers us is joy. Even if we don’t see the positive side of a situation at all, God can provide the joy that we need to propel through it. Even those without food or money can feel the hope, joy, and love of the Lord. I have every reason to be happy.
I have a job; in the crazy economy, at least I have a way to pay off my loans. I’m preparing to teach overseas; the fact that my homework us challenging and time-consuming gives me hope that it will prepare me well for the future. I LOVE what I am doing for my teaching practicum. I have the ability to see God’s faithfulness as he provides a parking spot for me, and he practically clears the way so that there is no traffic when I drive during rush hour. Life is nothing like I expected, but it’s everything that I could ever want…and more.
So instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I’m going to be thankful for what I do have. If I’d focus on the negative, I’d miss the blessings of the positive.