Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Entitlement: I Have Fallen Back in to the American Mindset

Yep. That's right. I have been back from Haiti for 36 days, and I experienced my first grumbling and thoughts of entitlement.

On Saturday, we handed out fliers for WOW JAM, an event that is happening on Saturday May 3rd at McLane High School at 4 pm. First disappointment...in a church of about 1450 people, 15 people showed up to hand out 2,100 fliers. Therefore, not all of the fliers were handed out in our designated area on Saturday. One section was not even touched and then one section had to be finished.

Dawn Underwood, Scott's executive assistant, volunteered to help me hand out the rest of the fliers on Monday. My thoughts "Perfect, now it won't take as long"

Not so. Yesterday, for those of you that live in Fresno, know that it was in the 90's. We began with the unfinished section. We both had terrible attitudes. It was hot and I wasn't happy that the people in our church suck and couldn't help out for an hour on Saturday.

As we were almost finished with the unfinished section (we decided to only do that one part since it was so stinkin' hot!), it hit me.

I was one of those people that I don't like. My exact words to Dawn...

Stephanie: "Dawn, do you know what?"

Dawn: "What?"

Stephanie: "If I were in a third world country, say Haiti, I would not be complaining about this. I would not care how hot it is, I would not care that I was finishing somebody elses work, I would not care that there was no people interaction. I would be happy that I was serving."

Dawn: "huh"

Stephanie: "Yeah. I would say 'yippity skip' and be on my way...I would just be happy that I was serving...I just became the American church goer that I don't like. The one who doesn't think that life should be the least bit uncomfortable...I took on a feeling of entitlement...I don't like myself right now."

And that wasn't the only thing that I had to do yesterday that put me outside, in the heat. I was privileged to be able to drive bags of groceries to another church for WOW JAM in the church truck that has no air conditioner. But this time, I put my grumbling aside and had fun singing, and sweating, in the car.

The Lord was gracious to me, and when I was on my way back to The Bridge during my first trip, Blake called me. He was finishing up with an appointment, and said he would help me with the next load...and his truck has air conditioning. :)

So Dawn and I finished up passing out the fliers this morning, and both of our attitudes were much better than yesterday.

I think I need to go back and read some of my previous blogs (especially the one on Surrendering My Rights in Haiti... and Beyond) and journal entries to remind myself of all that I am called to do, and more importantly what I am not to be like. Jesus came to serve and not to be served...and it is my desire that I follow that example and remember it daily.

I really suck sometimes, but am so thankful that I serve a God that knows I am going to stumble and be selfish, show me the error of my way, forgive me, and the entire time loves me and lovingly puts me back on the right track.


Luke Mundy said...

First, this is a great post. I'm glad to see you're continually challenged and reminded by your trip to Hati. That's a wonderful thing!

My issue is the naysaying of the "American church goer" like everyone in America is overcome by their entitlement or that no one in Hati complains when they work in heat. I have a hard time believing either thing.

People worldwide in every social situation have the temptation to be selfish and fleshly... I just feel like it's a little to easy for everyone to grumble against the "American church" all the time. I don't want to see you become one of those people!

Stephanie said...

That is not exactly what I was getting at...

I didn't want the reader to stop at the "American church goer" and I am definitely not grumbling against the American church.

I am just unsatisfied with the person who goes to church and doesn't ever want to be uncomfortable...

what I wanted people to read was:
"I just became the American church goer that I don't like. The one who doesn't think that life should be the least bit uncomfortable"

That is all.

I think the church as a whole is a beautiful thing, even in America. After all, we are the Bride of Christ.

And the entitlement deal, is not in regards to the church, it is in regards to American society.

I'm sure that it would make a lot more sense if we talked about it in person... :)