Otherwise titled: New House, New Car, New Job, New Me?
It’s all come together how we wanted it to. We are blessed. We were able to get a beautiful new home close to a great private Christian school that we are able to afford (hopefully) thanks to Steven’s job there. I was able to purchase a new vehicle after my last one went out on me. I have not advertised this much, but just this week I found out that I got a job at Goodlettsville Elementary for next year. This school is 20 minutes from my new house. The school I’m at now is 40-45 minutes from the house. In addition, the new job is in Metro Nashville schools, which means a pay raise and better insurance. (I’ll miss my students and friends from my current school, though!)
I am so thankful for all that is happening, but then there is this little voice telling me that I’m greedy. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a missionary and cared nothing about the “American dream” of house, 2 cars, 2-3 kids, dogs, lots of gadgets and technology, etc. Now I’m living it.
What about the poor? What about all those who lost their homes, cars, and many belongings in the recent Nashville flood? What about the hardworking parents who just can’t make ends meet? Have I truly become greedy and materialistic? Am I teaching my children to be that way – to want, want, want and care nothing about others?
I’ve just started reading “On Living Simply” by Saint John Chrysostom, a fourth-century saint famous for his sermons on social justice and the poor. He has some straightforward words for me.
He says, “We do not need to buy air, water, fire, sunshine, and things of this kind. God has given enough of all those blessings for everyone to enjoy them freely. The sun shines equally on the rich and the poor, and they both breathe the same air . . . Remember how we have been created. All human beings have a common ancestor. Thus all human flesh has the same substance: there is no difference between the flesh of the nobility and that of peasants. When we commit an act of charity, in which we use our excess wealth to help someone with too little, we are acknowledging our unity with others.”
I love that quote. Thank you for it.
Beautiful refection and congratulations on the new job. I know that will help balance your daily life with your family!
Karissa, what beautiful thoughts.
I understand from whence come your worries, but I seriously don’t think you are being greedy or selfish or materialistic. Keep in mind:
. . . that you have two children and a husband, and working closer to your house will give you more time with them.
. . . that you’ll be teaching children whose parents might not be able to make ends meet. Those kids deserve a good education, too.
. . . that you might be making more in Metro, but even with more $$, you aren’t paid enough. No teacher is.
. . . newer cars are more gas efficient (good for the environment) & safer (good for you and the family).
You may not be a missionary, but you are still doing a lot of good in this world. . . and that’s what’s truly important.
Wow! Chrysostom opened my eyes when he said, “giving acknowleges our unity with others.” Never thought of it that way, but it is so true. I love being Orthodox! thanks for sharing your life and this quote.