Monday, September 18, 2006
I recently read a quote that someone had written about Mother Teresa. In it was included a powerful statement about the people she ministered to in Calcutta. The statement was that their "horizons had shrunk to the bowl of rice they craved." Unfortunately, there are many people today whose horizons have shrunk to the bowl of rice they crave. Even one person whose entire focus has shrunk to basic needs is too many.

And, there's another side to this. That bowl of rice can indeed be food for the hungry or it can also be the next "fix" for the drug addict or the next drink for the alcoholic. Our hearts and compassion naturally go out to those who feel so hopeless and helpless because of their physical situation. We do not want to lose sight of our need to help them. But often we do.

I would say that most Americans have horizons that have "shrunk" in a different way, often blinding us from acts of compassion and love toward those mentioned earlier. Despite the world in which we live where, for the vast majority of us, our needs and even many of our wants are fulfilled, we are often missing our internal call to follow any innate morality and sense of fairness and justice by serving others. In fact, it is the material things of this world which are blinding us. Our horizons have shrunk from where God wants them to be to instead be that next vacation, that new car, a new house, or, in some very unfortunate cases, perhaps a new spouse.

We speak a lot these days of the "greatest generation" -- those folks who came into adulthood during World War II. They had a horizon that was broader than all of this. Their horizon, I believe, called for a peaceful and God-loving world from which prosperity would naturally spring forth. They wanted to raise their families without the spector of war or evil run rampant in the world. Yes, they wanted to be prosperous but only after they first focused on showing God's love to those arouund them. I realize that I am making this all much simpler and typified than it actually was but I do believe that part of that generation's "greatness" was the result of having goals that were much bigger than their own personal next bowl of rice, in whatever form that rice can be.

There is a group of people, right now, who are in the final half of an experiment with "30 days of nothing". This idea spread primarily through the online community and bloggers. The concept is, for 30 days, to not buy anything you don't have to have. Focus on meals at home, avoid rampant consumerism, walk instead of drive when you can, even minimize computer time. I have followed one person as they have blogged about this experience and she has relayed many difficulties through this but, fact is, I believe she has done far better than I could have done.

I know that my horizon is not that next meal. I am nowhere close to knowing what the pain and anguish of that would be. My meals -- my basic "needs" -- are covered. Thank God for that. I am truly blessed. The problem is, though, that my horizon is instead far too often focused upon material wants for myself and my family. If my horizon can instead be that others do not have "shrunken" horizons limited to their next meal or the next fix for their addiction, and my actions can live out the pursit of that horizon, then I believe that I will be doing what God calls me to do.

  posted at 5:53 AM  

At 5:30 PM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Todd, this is so funny...I started to read this post on Bloglines and thought, "Oh I have got to go over there and read this! This fits in perfectly with my 30 Days of Nothing" challenge. Then I get to the end and realize it IS, in part, about the challenge!

It has been hard but oh so worth it. I suspect God is moving whole mountains inside me during this time and I wish others would give it a try. It's not too late! Tonia is trying to get others to take a month each and make this thing last an entire year. Wouldn't that be something?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Who Am I?

Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

My Complete Profile

Buy My Book! (please)
  • Trying To Lose My "Self" In Israel

  • Past Posts

  • Great Blogs
  • Dan Gildner
  • Hope Shifts
  • Trey Morgan
  • Hey Jules
  • DadBloggers
  • David Porath
  • Antique Mommy
  • Tony Morgan
  • Chris Reeder
  • Gary Lamb
  • Perry Noble
  • David Foster
  • Scott Hodge
  • Mark Meyer
  • Donald Miller
  • Sidney First Leadership Community
  • Irenic Thoughts
  • Sidney First UMC

  • Archives
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • June 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2011

  • Gargantuan List of Methodist Bloggers

    Credits and Links


    Christian Blogger Network