I just read a fascinating article on Associated Baptist Press about Nathan Adair, who has recently finished a month long project to join most of the rest of the world in living on less than $1 a day. You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.
So, I was sitting at my desk at work this Friday (my usual day off), frantically tending my never-ending to-do list, trying to think deep spiritual thoughts about the sermon for October 16th, and feeling generally stressed out, when I read about Nathan’s adventures.
Feeling stressed out is not usual, I’m afraid, but today I was feeling extra stress because very early tomorrow morning a group from Calvary will leave for a week in El Salvador. We’re going as part of a friendship building learning experience with our friends from some partner churches in El Salvador. We’ll meet the folks whom we work with to make a scholarship fund for promising young students possible, as well as to visit sites related to the devastating civil war in that country. Meeting with government officials, walking in the steps of Monsignor Oscar Romero, seeing the country through the eyes of our associate pastor, Edgar Palacios, who has spent his life working for peace in that country…these will be the activities of the next few days.
Cue whining: it’s hard to get ready to go. It’s difficult to clear the time and space to pack, to get the kids and the house ready for me to be gone, to make sure everything is on track at church…you know, all the usual stress of life just ramped up even more.
I confess, though, that Nathan’s story made me feel ashamed of myself. I do have a lot to do, but I am also the recipient of tremendous opportunities, like the opportunity to travel to El Salvador with Pastor Edgar and Calvary friends. I also am incredibly blessed by my tremendous children and the responsibility they show that allows me to do the work that I do. And, as I just came from Starbuck’s, it was underscored to me that I do not live on less than $1 a day, and for all the stress I impose upon myself, I certainly do not worry about whether my family will eat today.
So, I am just taking a step back, reevaluate my life in light of the rest of the world, and set off to El Salvador with an open heart and a spirit of gratitude.
Wish me luck!