Thanks to the prosperity of American society cool gadgets are available everywhere today, and our kids are clearly the biggest beneficiaries. Or are they?
I remember sitting in an airport one day, waiting for a connecting flight to arrive. Across from me, a family and their kids were passing the time well-prepared with laptops, mp3 players, cell phones and video games. And yet, despite all of that, what I saw when I looked into their eyes stunned me: they were bored.
It stood in stark contrast to an experience I had a few years before on a trip to Uganda africa we were passing through a section of the city when we came across a small group of kids playing in the street. Their only toy was an empty and dented soda can they floated like a boat across the black water of a mud puddle. But what took me aback most of all was their demeanor. Despite the poverty all around them, they wore large smiles on their faces and were genuinely happy.
American culture has perfected discontentment. No doubt, the children I saw in Uganda could benefit from some of the material wealth so easily available to the average U.S. citizen. But I’ve never escaped the sense of authentic joy I witnessed that day. Since then I’ve often wondered: Despite their poverty, are those African children rich in ways that many Americans could benefit?
I believe they are. Material wealth can certainly be a blessing, but it’s become so woven into the fabric of Western society that our happiness often depends on it. But “stuff” never satisfies for long. And as Christians, we know only the Lord can ultimately give us true joy and fill our lives with lasting contentment that transcends our circumstances.
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 AMP