Like many of you, today I’ll sit with my family around a table weighed down with all sorts of deliciousness. We’ll eat more than we should, then we’ll push back and recline in front of a flat-screen television to watch sports.
Yes, it’ll be a good day: family, food, and football. What more could you want?
Maybe yours will look something like that as well.
Having said that, though, I think we need to think.
Not everyone has it this good. In fact, from a global perspective, hundreds of millions don’t.
According to the World Health Organization, about 800 million people in the world are chronically hungry (which means they’re eating at least 100 calories per day lessthan they need to live), including 20% of the population of developing countries. Almost 50% of Sub-Saharan Africa and 70% of Asia and the Pacific have a daily caloric deficit of more than 300 calories.
When people don’t get enough calories to sustain themselves, they get sick. They can’t lead an active life and therefore can’t work. Countries with high numbers of malnourished people can’t advance, and the cycle continues.
A similar problem exists with water. About the same number of people (800 million) don’t have access to safe drinking water, and 20% of deaths of children under age 5 occur because of water-related diseases. About 80% of sicknesses in developing countries are linked to poor water (The Water Project; www.thewaterproject.org).
Here at home we don’t really worry too much about getting enough calories or getting sick from our water.
At our big meal today we’ll have our choice of several kinds of soft drinks, iced tea, and bottled water.
None of us will think for an instant about the possibility of drinking a contaminated beverage.
I don’t even want to think about how many calories will be in the dishes that are prepared, but it’s a safe assumption that no one will step away from the table with any kind of caloric deficit.
It’s interesting that most of us worry about consuming too many calories, something millions of people in the world can’t imagine. They’re just trying to make it to the next day.
So where does that leave us?
Two quick thoughts:
Let’s thank God from the bottom of our hearts for all he’s given to us. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above . . .” (James 1:17). He’s been so good to us.
And let’s pray for the people who couldn’t even dream of a meal like the one we’ll eat today. “Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do” (Galatians 2:10).
Let’s not get so consumed with our little corner of the world that we forget about the people who are struggling.