I am one blessed gal. Really!! I know that I am! So why doesn’t that thought overwhelm my mind? Why am I so easily sidetracked and distracted by junk?
It has a lot to do with my “first world problems”.
I became introduced to the “first world problems” concept when one day I posted a status on Facebook whilst sitting in a pedicure chair stating my frustration for having to wait and feeling ignored, attaching a picture of my untouched feet. I noticed I had a comment from a friend that simply read “First world problems.”
While her intentions were possibly funny, she nailed me. I really wanted to delete the post, but I thought, “Nope. You asked for that one, Sister.” Her statement as stuck with me and I have started to notice how often we complain about first world problems.
My mother is preparing her house to be sold and yesterday we were pulling down wallpaper (unsuccessfully, might I add) in her hallway bathroom. It was a MESS. We had watered down Downey all over the walls, countertops, floors, glasses, bodies – EVERYWHERE – along with strips and scraps of outdated wallpaper wherever we looked. We were at the point of no return. The first layer of wallpaper was coming off relatively easily which meant we only had 3 MORE LAYERS TO PULL OFF (ask me if I knew there were 3 layers of wallpaper before I peeled the first piece? NO I DID NOT.). Mom and I pulled and scraped for hours and literally less than a 1/4 of the bathroom is clear of the 3 LAYERS OF WALLPAPER.
As we were pulling, my mother, reminding me that her brother and sister-in-law will be visiting from Indiana next week, sighed and said, “I’ll have to warn Lane and Gretchen about this bathroom.” I stopped pulling and said, “Why? We’re not undoing any plumbing. There’s still a tub, shower, commode and sink. It’s still a usable bathroom.”
Mom – “I know, I guess they can use my bathroom.”
Me – (bewildered and laughing) “Why can’t they use this bathroom??”
Mom – “Well, I guess they can, we just won’t have the new paper on the walls yet.”
First world problems…
Look, I can laugh at her comments because it’s not my bathroom. And in all honesty, my mom is concerned in this way because she cares so much for others and their well-being, especially when they’re in her care. She would sleep outside if she thought it would make someone else more comfortable. But personally, if I think someone is coming to MY house (besides family), I want to make the “right” impression. I immediately see all the things I need to take care of to be sure that everything looks in perfect place and I work feverishly to make sure it’s just so (true story). It’s a first world thing.
Now, it’s not wrong to want nice things or to expect good service or to desire to make a good impression, but have we ever really thought about the “problems” we face? Have we ever wondered if the junk we’re dealing with right now would even be worth thinking about if we lived in, say, a third world country? It makes that frustration over my wait for a pedicure seem pretty minuscule…and extremely spoiled and petty.
I’m asking God to help me be more aware of how I view my “problems”. In a third world country, they are thankful for one meal a day. Where I live, I can open the fridge or pantry at any given time and, even if I desperately need to go to the grocery store, there’s still something that can satisfy my hunger. Do I thank God for that or complain that “there’s nothing to eat in this house”?
It’s something to think about. Many times First World Problems = Third World Blessings.
Lord, forgive me for time wasted not thanking You for my many blessings. Help me kick first problems to the curb.