So often I think of others having wonderful opportunities in life. I don’t think of myself as underprivileged really, but I always thought of myself as less privileged than many others.
Then, I started looking at my life as a whole. I have lived overseas enough to realize that compared to the world, I am very privileged and have had many wonderful opportunities heaped upon me. And even as an American, I realize that I have had many opportunities. The odd thing is, that for all the experiences I have had, I don’t have a checkbook to show that I have had all these privileges.
But let me back up. Just what kinds of opportunities have I had? First, the opportunity to live in other countries has been great in giving me a worldview that is broader than simply what I would have had living in one part of the US or only in the US. When I think of the Church, for example, I don’t think of it as simply the kind that exists in my community. I also don’t think of it as only English-speaking. stop My years in Costa Rica showed me what it was like to be in a Spanish-speaking church in one Spanish-speaking country. My years in Jamaica showed me what it is like to be in a Jamaican church, with all the variety that comes with that. Yes, they spoke English, but it didn’t sound like American English at all! And the culture was definitely not American.
I also had the opportunity of living in a Christian home. It was not a nominally Christian home either. It was one where my parents were deeply involved in ministry. Although there were some drawbacks, overall, I would say it was an opportunity.
I had the opportunity to grow up in a home where education was encouraged. Asking questions and thinking about what was happening around us, asking “Why” and “Why not?” questions was encouraged. (Both parents were teachers.) We were also a family of readers! These were all benefits to growing as a person.
I had the opportunity to become a nurse. It was a career choice I never regretted. It was a very interesting job that changed in the different settings where I worked over the years. There were no two days that were the same. Each day I learned something new either about the human body or about people.
I could continue as I just began the list of the opportunities I have had. I never lived in a financially wealthy home. We often were scrimping and saving to get things we needed. But in terms of opportunities. We had theml What a gift!
And I didn’t even go into the opportunities that go with growing up in the United States during the years I did. They included having running water, electricity in our homes, good health care and a decent educational system as well. We had our inoculations as they were developed. I’m very fortunate that I grew up when I did.
I didn’t even start mentioning the great opportunities I had by marrying Ron, being a parent to our three daughters and now being a grandmother. Awesome opportunity!
And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,
and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 ESV