Why Bother?

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Walking through the subway station this morning, I saw a sign posted rather discretely on the ceiling. If you were looking slightly up and ahead you saw it. It simply said, "Why Bother." It was as if the Artist were reading my mind.

Just moments before, I stepped out of a checkout line at a woman's clothing store.  The line was LONG! The cashier and manager were having difficulty with a new computer system that had just been installed.

Sweaters, scarves, purses, and pants in hand, as the line grew, and the minutes ticked by, the women in the line started to do what we tend to do when we feel inconvenienced... complain.

"Why install a new system at this hour, this makes no sense."  "Why is there only one person at the register with all of these people on line?" The verses of this lamentation song were so familiar.

The cashier became flustered, the manager apologized, the negativity abounded.

I looked at the black, fake leather tote bag I was about to buy and remembered the countless, and I mean countless, number of tote bags of all kinds that I have at home. They hang in my closet and on multiple doorknobs. Some have tags on them. Price tags.

I thought to myself, "Why am I spending money on this?"  And, "Why am I wasting time in this line?"

I looked around me; the women in the line were well groomed, finely dressed and prepared for the day's rainy weather. I wondered if they really NEEDED the items they had in hand. Were those things worth waiting for? Was the delay in spending their money worth complaining about?

We have sisters in our towns, cities, villages who wait in long lines to get food to feed themselves, to feed their children.  They wait in long lines to apply for limited jobs. They wait in lines for shelter from the elements and for safety.  Often they are turned away because the resources are inadequate to meet the need. But they wait, in desperation and in hope. Once on a medical missions trip to Guatemala I witnessed people waiting in line in the scorching mid-day sun for three hours to receive basic medical treatment. There were no doctors in their village.

After about 10 minutes in the clothing store line I decided I did not need or want that bag. I chose not to join the chorus of complainers.  I moved out of the line.

The woman standing behind me gave an understanding smile but she really didn't understand at all.

"Giving up?" she said.

I smiled back, "No, not really... just moving on."

I left the store to go catch the subway train. Then, amidst the bustling rush hour crowd, I saw the sign. I saw the sign.

Did you know... According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization[i], 12.5 percent of world’s population is inadequately nourished. That's about 870 million people. Many of those who go hungry are women and children. Organizations like World Vision implement comprehensive, short- and long-term programs to address hunger and malnutrition. Pray for their work to continue and be fruitful. Check out other ways you can help by visiting the World Vision website... www.worldvision.org.

Karen Proctor head-shot.jpg

For the past 25 years Karen Proctor has defined herself by two words, Chelsea’s mom. One of her greatest joys in life is to be her mother and to have a role in helping her to blossom as a grown up human. She spent many years as a senior public affairs/social responsibility executive in the radio, cable television, sports and publishing industries. Her ministry experience includes leading youth ministry for the past 14 years at her local church. She heart's desire in life is provide people with opportunities to learn and grow. 

Karen is founder of Pala Miracle and publisher of freshzoe.com. She uses that space to focus on living a fresh life; one that is fully about serving God and serving others. “In His service” is her place of real joy.

[i]UN Food and Agricultural Organization, http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i2845e/i2845e00.pdf, retrieved October 16, 2012

photo credit: me_maya via photopincc

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