Monday, March 09, 2009
an interesting read...
apparently i subscribe to the Readers' Digest. i don't know how, or who does it, or who pays for it, but every month it shows up in my mail box with my name on it. every now and then i read it, and every now and then my interest gets peeked and i learn something new.
the most recent copy i received has in it an interview with Margaret Atwood, discussing her latest book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. it's looks to be a book that would be a good read, and timely seeing as how its release came alongside of the economic downturn.
she made some interesting comments about our understanding of wealth in a relational context, rather than a monetary context. one of her comments was that in a hunter/gatherer society wealth is whether or not you bring home something to eat. it shifts a little of the perspective about wealth and our position in the global picture.
i admittedly struggle at times with this issue of wealth. i don't and will probably never make more than $40-50,000 per year due to the area of occupation that i choose/am called to pursue. i long to be able to spoil my family with lavish gifts and expensive trips, big homes, fancy vehicles, and at times keep up with and even greatly surpass 'the joneses' in every aspect of life financially.
for the tax year of 2008 i received five T4 slips, from 4 different employers, and made a total income that is somewhere around the poverty line in Canada for a family of four. and by 'somewhere around' i mean at or below. and yet, every night my family ate. like royalty as a matter of fact. and we've been able to pay down some accumulated debt. and we had more than a few times where we've been able to go out for dinner as a family, and take part in many events.
the reality is that even though i might not make a lot of money, we are wealthy. God provides for us and many times we are unaware of how He works. my family lacks nothing, and wants for nothing - unless you count the numerous times that Grayson asks if we can take the toys we pass in the stores home. i get to sit in my basement and eat nachos and cheese, enjoy a cold beverage, watch free tv using either my rabbit ears or this funny thing called the 'inter-web', and keep tabs on my 11 month old daughter on my baby monitor, while my wife is at the gym working out.
we are wealthy. my family eats. many families don't. i need to be reminded of that regularly. i also need to be reminded of what God does for me, because in many cases, the people who don't get to eat know God a lot better than i do.