I am being vacuumed slowly and painfully into the vortex of suburbia America. This was one of my fears when deciding to move here. In Florida I lived in smaller town where I knew people and saw familiar faces. I was able to get to know my neighbors and the cashiers at the grocery store and the lady who worked the counter at the pizza joint. I also intimately knew the lives of the teenagers, their struggles and their pain. I prayed over them and dried their tears. Their lives kept me immersed in the realities of the world.
At one point I served as staff of a church who’s property backed up to a poor neighborhood. Children would come out on Wednesday nights in search of some community. I would walk nine year old girls home at ten o’clock at night when it was pitch dark out only to find their moms say things like, “I was wondering where you were.” Those same kids would show up on Sunday, not feeling like they quite fit in, watching through the windows at the “churched” kids. Barefoot, dirty and unfed.
Now I”m back in the bubble of the city. A bubble filled with children living with a narrow worldview, thinking their lives are difficult. I’m living in a city where your attire is important, and everyone pays hundreds of dollars to get their hair done. I’m surrounded by people who take regular expensive vacations and teenagers consider $150,000 houses the “ghetto”.
And all of this “lifestyle” is sucking the life out of me. I find myself wishing I had more “things” and comparing myself to the trendy women who walk about with their babies ducktaped to their bodies. I find the time and energy to reason with myself about buying clothes and shoes. I desire things now that I did not desire eight months ago.
I completely understand that some people work hard to have nice things and own their homes and do their nails and spend $200 on their hair. I get it. But I don’t want to be that person if it costs me what matters most.
I see myself losing perspective. I see myself allowing the world and my flesh to drown out the purpose of my life. I feel myself allowing God to be at arms length because the suburban lifestyle is oh so comfortable.
Friends, it will suck you in. And it’s strong…oh so strong. Convincing you and enticing you. The seductive dance of wanting and buying and needing skews the picture of the why Jesus came in the first place. Your bubble- life you live without disturbance, focused on yourself and your own needs and wants, completely shelters you from the Kingdom of God.
Pop the bubble.
Take off the blinders.
Remove the night vision.
Change the way you look at things.
Alter how you think of your circumstances.
Most of us don’t have it that bad. In fact, most of us have it pretty damn good. Don’t let middle-class America determine your relationship with Christ, if it hasn’t already.
And I’m not talking about donating a few things to Goodwill, or helping load a food truck.
I’m talking, be sold out for Jesus instead of worrying about what’s on sale or how you’re going to get more of something you already have way too much of.
I’m talking, stop being in a hurry and start being still in His Presence.
I’m talking throw everything you think you know about your neighbors & all that gossip out the window and really listen and be a friend.
I’m talking stop just showing up to church on Sunday after going to the bar on Saturday. Don’t go to the bar and serve, give, love.
Do more, be more.
Jesus doesn’t care much about your middle-class or upper-class or wealthy status. Jesus cares about the condition of your heart, your intentions and the love you have for Him and His people.