My family recently moved from the East Coast of the U.S. to the West Coast, and we have no idea where our belongings are or if we will even get them back. But this experience has taught us a lot about perspective.
Moving can be one of the most stressful life events – especially if you have kids and LOTS of STUFF! Then when you throw unethical moving companies, price gouging, antagonistic customer service representatives, and missing belongings on top of the piles of anxiety, you’ve got one big mess!
When we started packing up for our cross-country move, we felt nostalgic, nervous, and excited. Stacks of boxes meant new possibilities. We would soon live closer to family than we had lived in 20 years. Sure, we would be leaving amazing friends behind. But even closer friends might be waiting on the other side of the country.
Then, the moving company showed up… And proceeded to nearly double our moving costs, but only after packing up most of our possessions on their truck. Now, on the other side of our cross-country move, we have no idea where our stuff could be or when we might get it back!
LEGOS, stuffed animals, family heirlooms, pictures, treasured books, our kids’ baby clothes, favorite toys, and memories, all locked in an undisclosed storage unit until we pay a ransom. If I sit and think about it long enough, it makes my blood boil and brings me to tears.
BUT… I must remind myself daily that this trial is a first-world trial.
We ALL Need Perspective
Because after all, we have a home. We have food and enough clothes to fill four suitcases. We have heat, air conditioning, clean water, cars, and Wifi! We have jobs, income, and family and friends who would lend a hand without a second thought.
Even without all of our stuff, we have more than enough – and much more than 95% of the world (and let’s not forget the 9% living in abject poverty)!
How Do You Gain an Eternal Perspective?
QUIZ: How rich am I?*
Here’s a quick quiz that has helped my family keep our trials in perspective. Maybe you can take this quiz with your family, friends, or small group.
1) Do you have enough food, a roof over your head, and a means of transportation?
Then you’re richer than 85% of the world (or 6.5 billion people)!
2) Do you earn $25,000 or more per year?
Then you’re richer than 90% of the world (or 6.9 billion people)!
3) Do you have enough money to support a hobby, have a variety of clothes, and two cars (in any condition)?
Then you’re richer than 95% of the world (or 7.3 billion people)!
4) Do you make more than $50,000 per year?
Then you’re richer than 99% of the world (or 7.6 billion people)!
Who are the extreme poor?
According to the World Bank, families who make less than $2.15 a day fall into the category of extreme poverty. (At Bright Hope, we round this number to $2 to simplify.)
But what does it look like to live on less than $2 a day?
- Not enough food for all members of the family (Kids often go to bed hungry, and parents forgo meals to feed their kids more.)
- No indoor plumbing, bathrooms, hygiene, or sanitation.
- Very little to no access to clean water.
- No access to education, job training, or opportunities to improve their futures.
What is an Eternal Perspective?
Even with the majority of our possessions stuck in a storage unit somewhere, we have hope. And even for believers stuck in extreme poverty, they have hope. Why? Because God has promised resurrection life and an imperishable inheritance to His children.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy,
he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled,
and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded
through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Do you believe this? If so, how will this perspective change the way you think, speak, and live today?
* The stats from this quiz came from https://irememberthepoor.org/3-2/.