As I’ve been thinking about blessings this month, I’ve started to realize that feeling blessed has a lot to do with our perspective. In other words, how do we think about things? I’ve also learned a new phrase recently, “first world problem.” Here’s the definition: a minor frustration or irritation experienced by privileged people in rich countries. Friends, think about it, most of our problems, all those things we get angry and worried about are really exactly this. To much of the world, we’re whining about things that are pretty inconsequential. Wouldn’t it be better when encountered with a “first world problem” to remind ourselves how really blessed we are?
Here are a few problems I encountered this week while on vacation visiting my daughter in South Carolina:
We arrived at our condo to find that due to a leak upstairs, our washer and dryer were not working! I had to go to my daughter’s home about 20 minutes away to wash my clothes! (First world problem — how blessed am I to own a vacation home and an automatic washer and dryer in the first place! How blessed am I to have plenty of clothing for goodness sake! How blessed am I to have children who will help me out!)
We decided to meet our daughter for lunch at a favorite restaurant only to find out that it had closed! What a disappointment! We love their crab soup! (First world problem– all we had to do was select another restaurant, there are many choices. Aren’t we blessed to have a choice of foods and be able to afford to eat out at all?)
Here’s a good one: our apartment in South Carolina does not have Wi-Fi. We’re so used to this convenience, it’s annoying to be unable to look something up on google or check my email instantly (or write a blog post as soon as inspiration strikes). Instead we had to make a trip to the library to use the computer. (First world problem! Aren’t we incredibly blessed to have a library where we can not only use our computer — which we are blessed to own– but borrow books and movies at no cost.)
Well, you get the idea. I don’t have to worry about having food for my next meal, shelter from the weather, or transportation. I have resources to share. I’m not alone in the world, I have family and friends around me. Most of all, I have the church and the gospel. God has provided me with all that I need and more. From now on, when I’m tempted to complain about one of those “first world problems” I’m going to count my blessings instead. What about you?
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:25-27)?