Words of Wisdom - First world problems.

Once, and unfortunately more than once, my family organised a big Lee Family holiday.

When the invitation e-mail from my oldest brother went around the family a few months earlier I thought, “There’s no way I am going on another family holiday!”

So I drive my sister and her kids to the holiday and we get to this holiday house.

I see my oldest brother who organised this “holiday” and I say to him, “Now, while the night is still young and before the serious drinking starts can we please find out what rooms we’re in?”

“Yes,” he says.

“So-and-so and their family are in this room, so- and-so and their family are in this room, and you and your family are out the back in the ‘new’ tent!”

So I suggest, “Well, what about Kathleen and her kids?”

“So you want my little sons to freeze out in that tent?”

I rather sheepishly replied, “Well ... little kids don’t feel the cold, and they love camping!”


No prize for guessing who ended up in the tent.

When we consider disastrous holiday accommodation or not being able to lose weight, or slow internet, how minor most of our “first world problems” are compared with the problems of others around the world.

But does God care about our “first world problems”?

Does God care if you have a bad holiday?

Does God care if you have a headache when thousands will die today who could have been saved if their people had have cared for them?


Why does God care?

Because you care and God loves you and so you matter to God.

If it matters to you then it matters to God.

We say “God helps those who help themselves” which is true, but we forget “God helps those who help others”.

Many a time we are the help to others that they are praying to the heavens for.

To give to the poor here or on the other side of the world through those charities that are reputable is a noble project of compassion.

If enough of us make even small sacrifices there’s no reason anybody in the world should be denied dignified accommodation.

And it can be achieved without any of us ending up living in a tent.


Father Brendan Lee writes a weekly column for ACM’s MIA regional mastheads.

If you have a column idea you’d like to contribute, or just an opinion you’d like heard, contact ben.jkones@fairfaxmedia.com.au