We are in the middle of a new series at church called Consumed. What a great time of year to think about consumption as a family. We have accepted the five day solidarity challenge through our church which I will explain later.
Our church gave us statistics on how half the world's population lives... I will share a couple with you. Half the world lives on $2.oo a day or less.... a whole day, not just lunch, but a WHOLE day. A lot of us spend that much just on our coffee for the morning. For most people, meals consist of 3/4 ounce (about the size of a chicken nugget) of oats, rice, beans and vegetables each day. Meat and fruits are luxuries. Americans on the other hand have super sized value meals and smorgasbords. This past week we have looked at our own family and our consumption. Not only food, but clothing, toys, electronics etc...
The 5 Day Solidarity Challenge has challenged us to eat a similar diet of what half the world's population eats. Our meals consist of oatmeal, rice, beans, and oh, did I say rice?? Yes, lots and lots of rice. It has put a lot in perspective for us.... first of all, we eat WAY too much. Secondly, we realized most of our eating is for flavor and not for hunger. I personally have realized the number of food commercials on TV. Seriously... it is ridiculous. You don't notice them as much when you are sitting on the couch enjoying a big bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips. When your meals consist of a bowl of rice with beans you notice the huge juicy burgers being flashed in front of you every 8 minutes.
With the money we have saved this week at the grocery, (rice is really cheap ) we have been asked by Southbrook to donate $25.00 Kroger gift cards. These cards will then be given to needy families locally who would maybe not have a Thanksgiving dinner without them.
We have also been challenged as a family to think about what DOES consume us. Our culture says... if it's newer, bigger, better, we want to own it.
Isaiah 46:4 says Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. We have been fortunate in this country to not read this verse and think of God sustaining our hunger, but rather sustain our spirit through our day to day life and trials. Very seldom do I personally pray to God for food or shelter; something I take for granted.
I need to read this verse over and over again in the middle of the day when I want to eat Arby's 5 for 5 instead of my bowl of rice. :) Thanksgiving is going to mean a lot more than just a turkey on the table this year. For starters, we will actually be THANKFUL for food after enduring the rice menu for this week. We will also be humble after having a tiny taste of what Thanksgiving and every other day is like for a lot of people.
For those of you who may be thinking " What kind of mother makes her growing children eat nothing but rice for a week?" The challenge was optional and Leslie chose to do the challenge. She is eating larger portions than a child in Africa may eat AND she is eating beans and some chicken for protein. Nick chose not to do the rice portion of the challenge because the child strongly dislikes beans and is not all that big on rice either. He did decide to give up his candy for the week and some other food luxuries such as snacking in between meals. :)