I just complained about having too much food.
This is something that many of my friends and family members would refer to as a “first-world problem”, and they should. Seriously, think about it. One of my chores today was to clean out the freezer. That’s right! Today, it was my job to throw away food. Why? Well, to make room for more food, of course.
When I recognize this material abundance in my life, it is rarely a guilt ridden thought. It’s usually just an observation that is followed by appreciation and thankfulness. The thought soon fades away. Unfortunately, so does the gratitude.
This failure to recognize how much one has and how much each person can help the next is one of the many reasons that it is important to have an active church in every community – a church that has frequent canned food drives and neighborhood assistance events. Ginter Park Presbyterian Church does a wonderful job of reminding us of God’s many blessings, while keeping us aware that there are many people among us that have so little.
A canned food drive is not just a way to get everyone to throw can-o-soup into a box, just like an invitation to help plant a community garden isn’t a way to lure you into church on a Saturday. After all, Saturday is one of your six days off, right? Opportunities like these are gentle reminders of the excess that many of us enjoy, that we can share with those who are less fortunate. A cynical person might question why God doesn’t just give everything to everyone. Then, there would be no poverty and hunger. The truth is that God has given everything to us. We just haven’t learned how to share.
I’m often humbled when I come to the realization that I truly do not deserve, and will never use, all that I have. For instance, the freezer burned ice cream is gone. As is the microwaveable meal, that had been in the freezer too long. The abundance is here! It’s all around us! We must decide if we want to share God’s blessings, or throw them out.
Joe Adams serves on our Session as a member of the Fellowship Ministry Team. He and his wife Megan were married in our church and together have been part of our Sunday Scool teaching teams. They live admirably in the shadow of their young son, possibly the cutest human on the planet. (Whose life is about to change when that second one arrives soon!) Joe’s post is a good reminder of our regular collection of canned and boxed food for the Central VA Food Bank.