People are always talking about the “cost of living” and how prices are increasing for the customer whilst competition is fiercer in the commercial world.
We’ve never got enough money to do the things we want to do and visit the places we want to see. Fuel charges go up, so air fares go up and goods cost more and more ... will it never end? You will hear folk say that “things are getting so bad that our family will only manage one foreign holiday this year” or “I’ll just have to keep the suite in the lounge for another year and I’ve had it four years already!”
Do you know for most of us in Scotland and beyond in what we call the “western world”, we just don’t know how fortunate we are! I’d say we have it all! We really have nothing to complain about. We have food available – and choice as well. We have schools and hospitals and a welfare state and clean water and lights in the streets even. We have our streets swept for us and our rubbish collected most weeks. And our local government spends a lot of time trying to move the seagulls away from the pavements or fill in the pot holes in the roads. Some folk just wouldn’t believe it!
By contrast, this is Christian Aid week and it’s the week in the year, when people all over Britain focus even more effort on raising money to make a difference in the lives of those who count their cost of living, not by holidays or furniture, but by whether they will be able to feed their children at all, or whether they will be able to afford the medicine essential to keep themselves alive or whether they will be able to earn a few meagre pennies to buy a meal or a little fuel for warmth in their home which probably has a leaking roof and most likely no toilet. And if a seagull were to dare to land on the ground, let alone a pavement, it would be pounced upon and be in the soup pot before it could squawk its protest.
Sometimes it’s good for us to take a moment to evaluate just what we do have and how blessed we are in Scotland. For us, the cost of living holds very few major challenges really and if we do have a problem of any sort there are people and organisations all around to help us deal with it.
It’s not like that for millions of people in our world, who each have as much right as us to experience the good things in life, but they just don’t have access to the things we take for granted. So can we give them a thought this week? If you see someone collecting for Christian Aid, or if there’s an event raising funds to help the world’s poor, will you dig deep – maybe even empty your pocket, because you can be sure that there will be more for you very soon and you do know where your next meal is coming from? And by the way – thank you for caring!
Dun & Hillside Church