Penance to be Privileged?
There's been some great talk on social media regarding what it means to be privileged. This is a great exercise to watch . Ideas surrounding having running water, owning a car, safety walking alone at night, being able-bodied..... And here I am, building a house. A new house that is off of Main St.
Going from semi's to sidewalks will be a privilege.
Having new All Kinds of Things - a privilege.
Parking 2 cars into an attached garage - yep.
And we can go on and on.
And if I don't pay close attention to my theology - I will judge myself or let others slide judgements my way and receive them....carrying them around like they are now also a part of this next chapter. Because I've heard some zingers.
But the question I need to ask myself - we ALL need to ask ourself - whether we fall way behind or way in front on the Privilege Scale is:
With the grace given to me, how will I use it?
Or as Stan Lee (but most likely Harry Truman) said: "With great power comes great responsibility."
How will I give away what isn't mine to begin with? Did I plant the trees that built the framework for my house? Did my husband make his brain work the way it has to have creative business success? Do I fashion the air in my lungs?
Nope. The Creator owns it all.
He owns the running water you just washed your hands with after you flushed that plumbed-in toilet. It's by grace that you hold a small computer in your hand to communicate via text, video or phone call. From the greatest grace to the least grace - it's still grace. An unmerited favor. A gift. This breath I just took - not mine. Thank you, God, for the next breath coming.
So how do we answer? What do we do with the grace given to us? A few reflections...which happen to all relate to our character and our heart posture, go figure. Isn't my heart posture the bottom line in my house status?
1. We walk in thankfulness.
There's not much to it; nothing is mine. So I want to stay thankful for it all. This is a daily practice. I've started saying things out loud that would annoy me: "I am SO thankful we have many shoes to find and then put on these many little feet to get out the door to our next destination."
2. We walk in humility.
May I not boast in my abilities, my successes, my home, my whatever. Pride comes before a fall. I'd rather be standing and humble than be flat on my face from pride. We were born naked and naked we will go. We've all heard the idea that there's no U-haul behind a hearse. The content of the character of my children is primary...not their stuff. I've seen motorized scooters in our neighborhood with little hands steering them...may we ride them (and have a blast! and have adventure! and memories!) and do it all humbly. Let's hear from our mouths: "How sweet it is that I have hot water! How awesome it is that I have this new game on the computer! How fun that I have a trampoline! How great to ride on a scooter! We have a pond - amazing!" May we not lose our wonder at the gift - because humility is in our hearts. (And didn't I want to justify that we don't have many of those things? It's a form of penance....)
3. We walk in generosity.
This next chapter comes with a house that has a caul de sac. Sidewalks. A big yard. A large gathering space for love and eating and meeting and blessing others. With rooms to have those who need places to stay. And it comes with a family who have hearts. And we want our hearts to be ready to share, to give and to bless. May the hearts in our home be the defining aroma when you walk in the door.
Lord, help us to not pay penance for the grace given us - but to say Thank You.
Say it's Yours.
Say it's for your kingdom to use how You will. Amen.