Monday, April 6, 2009

How Much Do I Sacrifice?

Back in the middle of March I came across a USA Today news article entitled, “Justice Thomas: Americans Don't Sacrifice as Much.” Thomas is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who is concerned about how self-indulgent Americans have become.

I’m not American but his words spoke to me. Today’s self-indulgence knows few boundaries and we in Canada are guilty as well. I like my little indulgences and I don’t think Justice Thomas would suggest ending them all, but am I as concerned about others as I am about myself? Am I willing to give up what I want to serve another?

In a recent conversation with someone who read my book, Searching for Love: One Woman’s Spiritual Journey through Same-Sex Attraction, I was asked why I was willing to go through so much pain. Why not grab hold of that for which my heart longed and enjoy some happiness? The answer I should have given didn’t come to me until later: We need to live for something higher than our own well-being and happiness.

I believe this is what Justice Thomas was trying to communicate to those listening. How well am I living that truth? Yes, I made the sacrifice I describe in my book but did my willingness to sacrifice continue or do I cling to my rights and my comforts oblivious to or hardened against needs other than mine? I think of my lonely next-door neighbour, the urgent sandbagging against flooding of the Red River, my son who is bored and would love to play a table game with me. Am I willing to sacrifice in order to help?

God, please enable me in this!

1 comment:

Mikael said...

I've mentioned this on my blog too. How much have I sacrificed; how much is too much; how much is too little? How self-indulgant am I? And when does sacrificing become a self-indulgant act of masochism - denying myself of things to feel better about myself.

I think God has made clear certain things that he wants me to sacrifice, as I believe he has made clear to you certain things he wants you to sacrifice - your desires for relationships (incidentally, also what God has asked me to sacrifice). Of course God doesn't want us to go through life without close friendships, but we need to be aware of how deep we go in a relationship, and how dependent on them we become. But of course, you know all this already.