Wednesday afternoon I was taking a break at the dining room table and I realized that First World problems distract us from keeping the main thing the main thing — and labeling them as problems shows how superficial we really are.
It seemed like my biggest issue this day was the fact that we had leftover hotdogs (the kind with cheese inside of them) and no buns.
Why don’t they package hot dog buns and hot dogs with the same quantity? You always have too many buns or too many dogs.
I was at the grocery store with my friend Jim the other day. This was prior to Twinkies hitting the shelves again and we were discussing this First World problem of no Twinkies, and so he picked up two packages of Little Debbie wannabees – one was filled with strawberries the other was filled with banana crème. Jim asked me which one I wanted — First World problems challenge us to make many tough decisions.
Can we talk?
We are so busy with First World problems and making decisions at the coffee shop like — iced or hot, whip or no whip — that facts like our state having one of the highest high school dropout rates in the country and that while our governor is bringing jobs to Texas, most of these jobs (which we are thankful for) are low wage and cannot sustain a family – that these serious issues become almost irrelevant to everyday life.
The dreaded question at our house every day is: “What’s for dinner? (Another First World problem).
Maybe what we ought to be asking is what is our neighbor going to be eating for dinner — or rather are they even going to have dinner.
When I go to my refrigerator to get a drink I have to choose between filtered water, Snapple, Dr. Pepper and some of those bottled Cokes from Mexico that we keep for our son, the barista. Again, things like global warming (I’m not saying it’s true) finding a cure for cancer and malaria have to take a back seat to serious issues. WHO (World Health Organization) estimated 660,000 died in 2010 from malaria and this is a totally preventable disease (where is Jimmy Carter when you need him).
Let’s ask, can anyone expect us to concentrate on things like that when we are busy calculating how much we can save if we bundle our home phone, internet and wireless accounts?
If we could just solve the hot dog/bun issue I would feel like we were doing something and maybe from there we could create a foundation that purchased mosquito nets and sent them to Africa to prevent future deaths.
And if we didn’t do that we could at least create a think tank that studied the traffic problems in our own Bedford Falls.
I got to go, it’s my turn in line and I’m not sure if I want my coffee with or without cinnamon and caramel.
Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.