Last week I was sitting on a plane listening to a sermon about engaging the less fortunate, while playing Vortex on my iPod. I was pretty bored and slightly annoyed at the materialistic or flirtatious conversations happening around me. My mood would be described as “Digging it but this dude is preaching to the choir”. I’ve heard it all most before. I give 20% away. I give hours a week to the homeless and an 11 year old. I had a budget for years based on expense and not income. I engage and throw money at the less fortunate.
Then I start listening. I haven’t sacrificed in years…like really sacrificed since somewhere around 2003. And even then it was for some kind of gain. Look at me, how I sacrifice.
Oh, I gave my car away once, under protest… to a family member. After another paid it off. And mostly I wanted my sister and niece protected and comfortable.
I started to donate to WorldVision because Mac Powell talked about it. And the girl I went to the concert with made me feel like a wuss. When I attempted to Christian impress her by puffing up and saying I was thinking of sponsoring a kid she replied she had 3. THREE? Well that didn’t work. She had 3 at 24 years of age or whatever she was.
I have had 3, since then, 2 at once for the past 4 years. I get their updates once a year. I read them but never reply. I get a WorldVision magazine a couple times a year. I’m an absentee sponsor who just notices the monthly expense on his Visa card, which earns me a few miles.
That is ironic because I mentor an 11 year old African American boy with an absentee father and overworked mother. Like the sponsor kids, I love that kid but I don’t always look forward to being with him. He’s awkward. He smells sometimes. He does find my jokes funny. But he…well he is expensive. Wants popcorn and an ICEE at the movie. And wants to see the 3D version. And wants to see the newest movie every week. And wants McDonalds at the end most days. So maybe I have sacrificed a little…I did watch the Smurfs movie and spent money at McDonalds…twice.
As I read Facebook and Twitter messages today I realize I am not the only one that lacks sacrifice in life. It is kind of anti-American. We are strong, powerful… impenetrable. We don’t need to sacrifice.
It strikes me that as we don’t sacrifice personally, someone else does or is forced to. Namely those who sacrifice their lives for this country. So instead of blaming the lack of prayer in schools or “them terrorist bastards” for what we commemorate today how about we think of something we can sacrifice to make ourselves and our world better. And while doing that I am sure we will think of our countrymen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, Korea, and all the bases in the US of A, the Peace Corp volunteers and the contractors who all defending our freedoms through their sacrifices.
Thank you to all those who give me the freedom to decide to sacrifice.