How Thankful Are You, Really?

Walking down the streets of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, I came across a few middle school-aged boys playing with toy cars and trucks. What made it so unusual were the toys they were playing with.

But I’ll get to that in a moment… just keep reading.

The last I heard, Zimbabwe has between 8o% to 90% unemployment. Did you get that? Between 8 and 9 out of every 10 people are without a job!

Do you have a job? ANY kind of job? Well, then, you should be thankful, even if you can’t stand what you do.

But here’s another question: Do you play with toys you didn’t have to make yourself? Even you adults… Do you?

Right now there are probably some things you wish you had, but all you have is last year’s model. You are jealous of your neighbor and their new car, truck, or house. Your friend got a new smartphone. You feel like God has treated you unfairly because you can’t have what you REALLY want. Am I close?

Why not enjoy and be thankful for what you have? Frankly, most of the “problems” we have are what we call “first world problems.” In other words, our problems are the problems of the rich and the spoiled.

Yes, we are spoiled brats when we complain about not having the newest iPhone, the newest car, the newest video game, the next generation Glock, etc.

You see, here’s the thing… If you don’t have to make your own “toys,” you’re blessed way more than you deserve. And “blessed” might not be the best choice of words.

Below are some pictures of boys playing with the cars and trucks THEY made out of wire and bottle caps. They were having fun.

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Still have something to complain about? Why not share in the comment section. Maybe we could all cry together.

5 Comments

Filed under America, General Observations, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving

5 responses to “How Thankful Are You, Really?

  1. Anthony, thank you for the reminder. My first 2 short term missions trips were to a Barrio in the Dominican Republic back in 1992 and 1993 and we went to build a school in this area. We had armed guards surrounding us as we worked, slept, played etc. I was a newly returned Christian and I lived in public housing in Durham, NC. At the time my furniture, my air conditioners that I had in my windows can from other people’s trash cans (as did my refrigerator, and eventually my washer). When I went to the Dominican Republic I didn’t know much about God or even what the people were like there.

    Yet, both trips God reduced me to a puddle of tears. My 1st trip a little girl came up to me and asked “If I let you love me will you forget about me when you return to America and all your things?” She was 10. Obviously, this little one had been taught America and Americans have lots and they come to these places and leave things but go back to America and forget about them. That broke my heart. What broke my heart even more was that when I went back the next year this little one had been sold for a total of $100 US Dollars. SOLD! A child! Why?

    Year 2 was met with not just this but also a little boy who the 1st year I went this boy was a clown and he played jokes on all of us and he just loved to play with whatever he had. His life was forever changed right before we went as a team year 2. His father chopped the hands off of his friend because the boys friend stole a pineapple and a coconut from.the family trees. The father said that the Bible told him it was okay to punish the neighbor.

    Two lives forever changed and actually my life was also forever changed as well. You see, even though all my things in my apartment at that time had come from other people’s trash I still had more than either of these kids and at least I had food and I lived in a great country. I may not have much or a lot of money but I have more than many do in our world. I can go to a doctor or hospital any time I need to and I have an education that I know how to read and write and count and…

    The list goes on and yes grateful and very thankful and yet also very aware that there.are people even in this great nation who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, and yet even these people have more in this nation than many people elsewhere.

  2. Thanks Anthony. We have so much in North America. And for the most part, we raise our kids with the expectations of having new and better things continually. Seeing those boys being happy with the cars they made, is a heartwarming, yet sad experience.
    In our country, Canada, we also have many who suffer in poverty, as well as many who are homeless. We do not have the reasons as they do in Zimbabwe. Our unemployment rate is not near that high. Our biggest problems are government financial decisions, and greed from many employees in well paying jobs. Strikes for more money, employers don’t give in, and companies close and move.
    In my employment, before retirement, I met many people suffering financially, through no fault off their own. In ministry, I met many homeless men and women also. Some of these brought on their hardship, some chose that lifestyle, but the majority did not.
    The great majority of us do not know true suffering. If we, speaking as a Christ follower, church congregation member, truly followed the teachings of Jesus, we could eliminate many of these problems. Working in unity, quitting all the squabbling over minuscule differences, would show the world the Love of Jesus, rather than the fighting over “religion”.

    I better quit my rant.
    God’s Blessings Anthony.

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