Godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have.”~1 Timothy 6:6
I was driving my daughter and her friend home recently, and they got chatting about foods from different countries. Don’t ya just love listening in on these? The friend loved Spanish rice that she insisted came only from Mexico “because that’s where they speak Spanish.” My daughter said Turkish rice rivaled the Spanish variety that “didn’t just come from Mexico.” And the Italian pizza and pasta did not taste liketheversion she had come to enjoy in America. Ah, how well-traveled our children are these days.
My daughter said, “I wonder what food the United States is known for?” The friend knew immediately, “Probably fast food.”
So, apologies to Tom, my mind wandered to this conversation as he reeled off dollar amounts Americans spend on luxury items. “Whoppers and chicken nuggets? $110 billion,” according to Fast Food Nationwhich is a book and a movie. Sounds like my kids know just what they’re talking about.
Then he moved on to pets. I wanted to hear this because it seems like Petcos and Petsmarts are popping up everywhere. Weber’s Pet Supermarket just moved into my local shopping center.”Thirty eight billion,” says Tom.
“Whoa, don’t go there,” said the gentleman sitting behind me, “they’re our children.”
And for our children, spare no expense, right? Open every door. Give them every advantage. If there’s an opportunity, help them seize it. That is the issue of stewardship that presents itself to me – personally and professionally.
In my line of work I see young people who do it all. They play for the high school team, then rush to club practice, while doing their homework in the backseat and chowing down on McD’s. Tuesday’s there’s scouts and let’s not forget to practice our piano. Maybe throw in a few dance classes and weekly church small group meeting. Are we really so surprised at the number of text messages they send? How else could they connect with their friends at the pace required?
Ask these parents and they’ll tell you the kids want to do this. They can’t bear giving any of it up. And we, as parents, can’t bear to withhold it – because they’re our children. We want well-rounded children who are unlimited in the dreams they can pursue. ‘Be happy with what you have’ just isn’t a part of the conversation because we want them to have so much more. We’ll sacrifice for this, and they’ll thank us, right?
My kids? Sometimes I do get a “Thanks for the PB&J, Mom.” Often I hear, “Thanks for the ride.” But when I say “No, let’s skip the fast food.” Or “No, you may not have candy at the checkout line,” they are not happy with me.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…It’s that “pursuit” that gets us all tangled up. I don’t want fast food to be the nation my children know. The question I’m left with is: How can I help them see that godliness is not just one more thing that needs pursuing ?
My dog may be way ahead of us on this one. When I scratch her ears and rub her tummy she wags her thanks every time.