Saturday, January 30, 2010

Living in the Land of Much-Too-Much

This morning, Elliott and I were hosting a breakfast meeting with a couple of our friends to discuss the possibility of living in an intentional Christian community. I wanted to be able to provide an abundance of choices for them—omelets, baked oatmeal loaf, fruit, cheese, coffee, etc. etc. As I walked through the bitter cold to our corner store on 6th and Dickinson, I was disheartened to see it was still boarded up, closed for business, at 8 am on a Saturday morning.

Carrying my disappointment with me, I walked down the block to the Rite Aid for eggs. At least we’d have eggs, if not produce. As I walked back mulling over my disappointment about the lack of fruit, it suddenly struck me as bizarre. Here I was, disappointed that I couldn’t get exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. When did we start living this way?—that we should expect and anticipate that we will get anything we want when we want it? When did it suddenly become a right?

It’s not a right, friends. It certainly is a privilege, and one in which I do not think we should be entirely proud or comfortable.

I thought again of my brothers and sisters in Haiti. Even in their “best” days, even before the earthquake, how often could any one of them think, “I’m going to stop drinking milk and instead drink soy milk because it tastes better?" How many people around the world have such an option?

I’ve spent much of the last five years of my life obsessing about food, and though I do still think there is merit in eating healthy, I don’t want to lose sight of the absurdity of the situation. Many people do not have the option to eat gluten free bread and probably have no idea what a gluten allergy is. Many people do not even have the option of having clean water.

We need to keep these facts close to heart. There is such injustice in the world and we are living in the Land of Plenty—nay, the Land of Too Much. Much too much. We are hoarding our wealth, friends. We have gotten used to a lifestyle that we think we deserve, or that we at least just take for granted.

It’s not a Christ-centered way of living. If we think that what we have is ours, then we have been poorly misled. We are conforming to the pattern of the world.

“All the belivers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, bought the money form the salles and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anything as he had need.”

Acts 4:32-35

I do not have much money to give. Elliott and I live a very meager lifestyle and do not earn a lot; most of what we have earned goes to bills and towards our car. What I do have, though, is plenty. I have plenty of clothes that go un-worn or only worn sporadically. I am writing this as a way for you to keep me accountable: with the help of Victoria (of the blog Tiedemann Tribe), I am going to sell many of my clothes and give the proceeds to relief in Haiti. It is going to take me a while to take inventory and pictures of everything I have and it is going to take up some free time to organize it, but I am going to do it. I want everyone reading to keep me accountable. It is going to take a LOT of sacrifice on my part because I do indeed love my clothes. But the reality is that my sisters and brothers need the money more than I need the clothes.

Please pray for continued release from the world and things that bind, and also for the time to gather everything in order to accomplish what the Lord has laid on my heart.


  1. I shall do my very best to help you and hope that we can keep each other accountable. I am truly blessed to have you as one of my friends.

    What you wrote about how we should not be able to just expect everything right when we want it. . .well I think part of when this did start happening is what has made us as selfish as we've become in our nation. It is great that you are able to learn lessons as you have.


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