This past Sunday was the first Sunday of a challenge I received last week. It all started when my sister and I walked to Starbucks last week because we needed wifi. Our wifi mysteriously shut down and we were carless. We had no other means of getting there if it wasn’t for our two feet. While walking there we got many weird glances from people inside their cars. I couldn’t help but think about how the place where we live looks down on people who walk. For some reason, walking has become embarrassing. People assume that because you are walking or taking the bus (because we are not in a walking/bus culture…in South Tacoma), something is wrong.
It made me think about the many people I encountered in Cambodia, Vietnam, and even in Korea who had to walk far distances just for some clean water whereas I would only have to walk downstairs to grab a filtered water bottle. I didn’t feel a sense of guilt, but of shame. Shame that conveniences and comforts have become luxuries that we expect to be handed to us on a platter. I’m not saying that America should become a third world country, but that we should be more aware of people living outside of us…in our own cities, but also in the world.
I felt something fiery in my soul and decided to walk to church from now on (until…I’m not sure LOL). It is not too far of a distance…it actually only took 45 minutes HAHAHA :) but it’s not the distance that matters, it’s the reminder. I want to be reminded that we live among others in this world. I want to remind myself that the conveniences that I have are luxuries and not automatically deserved things. I want to remind myself that others cannot even go to church even if they are willing to walk countless miles to get there. I want to remind myself that it’s not about me. I want to avoid that bad attitude of expecting everything at my every call and beckon…at my every request and fingertip. I realized that the only difference, between myself and someone who walks miles to get to church, is our location. If anything I respect that person so much more than I do myself that they might know the true value of communion and fellowship more than I do.
I don’t think we should feel guilty about our privileges and comforts, but to be reminded that they are not our birthrights, but indeed privileges. I know that driving to church every Sunday is not bad, but I also know that the 5 minutes it takes to drive there costs me a lot in my heart. I know I can easily forget to remember those I live amongst and acknowledge the one I live for.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:10, 14-16)