Last night my boyfriend and I went to our small group in West Hartford. We are a group of about 17 twenty-to-thirty-somethings who get together once a week to discuss life, challenge each other, pray for each other and encourage each other. It is both enriching, enjoyable, and often times downright entertaining. Our group is currently going through the book “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller and last night our topic of discussion was on the chapter about “greed”. It should come as no surprise to you that greed is a tremendous problem in America, and in Western culture in general. We are consumed with a desire for more…more money, more power, more status, more fill-in-the-blank. In this chapter the author makes a claim that while most of us can recognize that it is a problem, the majority of us are unable to see the areas in our own lives in which we are greedy. Wow. That kicked my butt big time.
Over the past week, after reading this chapter and knowing we were going to discuss it in group, I began to pray that my heart would be softened more and that I would begin to see areas in my life in which I tend to be greedy. Let’s face it, I am no exception to the rule, and if most people can’t recognize their own greed, there is a good chance that I have some greed in my heart also.
One of our small group members made a statement last night that has stuck with me from the moment she said it. “One way to guarantee that greed will be removed from your life is to give…all the time, at every opportunity.” We debated back and forth about the responsibility of having boundaries because you can’t give so much that your own life is in a shambles….or can you? I think, for me, I concluded that it is more than anything a matter of the heart. My mindset. My attitude. It is not about how MUCH I give, but about how willing I am to do so. I was challenged to begin opening my eyes to the needs of others around me and blessing them as I see or hear about the needs some people might have.
On Saturday I leave for my very first Photography conference and I am SUPER excited! WPPI in Las Vegas has been a conference that I have been looking forward to going to ever since I decided to go. One of the main attractions of this conference is all the slammin’ parties that will be taking place, hosted by various photographers. There is one in particular that I stumbled across this week that is allegedly THE party to go to while in Vegas. Tickets are $50. As I have recently moved my photography business to Connecticut, I have to be wise with how I spend my hard-earned $$. That party, however, is $50 that I was very willing to spend. Until about 2 hours ago.
I was driving on my way to the gym, listening to my absolute favorite radio station, Country 92.5 and realized that today they were doing their annual radiothon for St. Jude’s Hospital. Many of you, I am sure, are familiar with the incredible work that St. Jude is doing. As I was driving and listening to the stories I began thinking about some people I know. My aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago. A family that I hold dear to my heart in Florida whose baby son has had numerous open heart surgeries since he was born less than a year ago. Another family I knew years ago whose son died of cancer. Then I began thinking about Las Vegas…and these slammin’ parties. And one word came to my mind – “greed”. Immediately, I had a “heart check” and knew what I had to do.
And I would challenge you to do the same.
While it is undoubtedly difficult for each of us to admit that there may be even a hint of greed in our lives, a tried and true test is asking yourself how often you are willing to give…of your time, of your talent, and of your money. We don’t think twice about spending $50 on a pair of gorgeous high heels, or $300 on a new iPhone, but it is so hard for so many of us to donate $50 to a good charity.
So, ask yourself the hard questions. And be willing to give.
The Airhorns and Lasers party will have to wait until 2011, because for now, it is 100 times more important for me to do what I can to meet the needs of others.
If you want to donate to St. Jude’s Hospital through Country 92.5’s radiothon, you can call 1-800-201-8883, or go to Country 92.5‘s homepage.
Do it for the kids.