The Artist vs. the Sponge

There are things that we grow accustomed to in America that distance us from the rest of the world. These are often referred to as “first world problems.” They are ridiculous statements we make about our discomfort without realizing the superfluous nature of what we have. The video above illustrates it hilariously. Here are some other examples:

  • “I cant find the right balance between my fan and my electric blanket.”
  • “I type so fast that my expensive fake nails keep hitting the wrong keys.”
  • “My iPad 3 doesn’t warm my lap as much as my MacBook Pro.”
  • “I have to turn down the bass in my car to look in the rear view mirror.”

It’s all around us. This last weekend at church I was standing outside and greeting at one of our campuses. A guy came late to the last service of the morning and went to the coffee station before going inside. Much to his chagrin, the (free) coffee was out by this point.

Without skipping a beat he said to a nearby person: “I feel like I’m scavenging for the last drops of coffee in a third world country.”

To which the other guy responded, “Yeah, but that’s a pretty first-world problem.”

first world problemAnd so it is. It’s easy to criticize statements like this but I’d bet all of us in America (and many places around the world) are guilty of doing this same thing. This is normal, right?

I’m reminded of a statement I recently read from Michael Gungor: “Entitlement is not a friend of art. Work is. Pain is.” Whether or not we realize it, we are all artists. We are all creating things daily, be it a project, story, new experience, etc. When we allow ourselves to believe that we are owed something we accept a numbing of the mind and soul. We become restless wanderers in search of what we think we are owed. That’s why so many Christians in America bounce from church to church. They are looking for something they will never find. We must look to contribute as artists, not to absorb as sponges.

While this may be “normal” in the sense that it is prevalent, it should come as no surprise that it will limit us. Only through the realization—and willful neglect—of our sense of entitlement can we move beyond this into the depth of living.

What is one thing in your life right now you are taking for granted because of your expectations? How can you choose to appreciate it intentionally and change your perspective? You have something to bring.

By the way, this blog post looks really good on an iPhone 5.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan