The privilege of an invitation

Do you remember what it was like to be 6 years old and invited to a birthday party? You’d receive a brightly coloured fill-in-the-blanks invitation that told you where and when and came with the unspoken promise of cake and party bags!

kid-with-a-party-hat-and-party-blower_1187-171The invitation carried with it much more though, than details and the promise of fun, it told you something even more special: You were chosen.

At some point, when your little 6-year-old friend sat down to write their birthday list, they put your name on it. It was a privilege to be invited.

I wonder how our generation has lost that sense of privilege. Is it that we have so many more friends and receive dozens of invitations? Is it that Facebook culture has introduced the ability to haphazardly invite all 756 of your ‘friends’ at once? Is that why we don’t want to commit until we know whether we’ll feel like it on the day?

I think it’s sad. I know when I invite people to something, it’s because of all the people I know, I chose them. I know that there are times when being invited can feel like more of a burden than a privilege, but I try to remind myself that, irrespective of who it is from, an invitation is always a privilege. An invitation means they thought of me, and they chose me.

Let’s not take being chosen for granted.

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The Smashed Avocado Debate – My take, in 250 words

avocade-toast-web-42-1080x675A recent article in The Australian, by Bernard Salt, has set the internet on fire in what is becoming an increasingly tiresome war between the generations.

He took a stab at ‘millennials’ saying that if they forewent hipster foods like ‘Avocado on Toast’ at $22 a pop, then maybe they’d be able to afford a house.

The millenials, naturally, have erupted with the damning eloquence of post-hipster university students, doing the math and claiming they’d have to save their avocado toast money for a decade to afford a deposit.

Clearly, both are missing the point.

Salt’s patronising tone offers little to a1408021947_8_1 generation struggling to afford even a tiny piece of the Australian dream. Housing prices have risen astronomically since my parents bought their first 3 bedroom house for two-and-a-half years’ salary back in 1984. When I bought my two-bedroom unit on a postage stamp of land, it cost me five years salary.

Many millenials, however, have also missed Salt’s main point; that things that are common place now, were luxuries 40 years ago, and that just because your parents can afford it now, doesn’t mean you deserve it. Millennials need to learn that IKEA isn’t cheap and that new or matching furniture is an earned luxury. Smashed avocado brunches or cocktail nights at that copper-lantern-bar cost money that people didn’t used to spend.

The small things do add up… maybe not to a house deposit, but to other forms of investment that will get you there in the end.

When I don’t get what I want and it feels like an existential crisis.

fussing-crying-complaining_2397598There’s something I want. I don’t need it, but the more I think about having it, the more I want it. It costs a lot of money, but last night, it looked like God was going to let me have it. It looked like I was going to be blessed with a really good deal, and like the spoilt child who suddenly finds a lot of love in their hearts for their parents when they’re getting what they want, I found it easy to praise God for His goodness to me.

Suddenly life was looking good. I felt myself basking in God’s favour. I saw God blessing me even though I didn’t deserve it.

And then this morning, it was all gone, and sadly so was my joy; and tragically so was my trust in God’s goodness.

It reminds me of this quote from the funny clip below by Louis CK, which is sadly far too relevant for my generation: ‘How quickly the world owes us something we knew existed only 10 seconds ago.’

How quickly my hope in God becomes dependent on Him doing things my way.

How quickly I allow material goods to have a defining influence on my happiness.

God has blessed me abundantly. But sometimes I don’t get what I want, even when it does seem that He has orchestrated all the stars to align to give it to me. How long will I allow my relationship with him to be dependent on His gifts to me?

A helpless ball of ‘I don’t want to.’

Photo Credit: Stock Xchng

Maybe it’s a gen-Y thing, maybe it’s affluence, or maybe it’s just human, but this morning I found myself curled on my bed, head in my pillow in what I immediately and honestly labelled as a helpless ball of ‘I don’t want to.’

When the working week finally draws to an end, Saturday arrives, bright with sunshiny promise and smudged by a list of chores from a week of saying ‘I’ll get to that on Saturday.’ As the ugly head of self-entitlement rears, I find myself feeling cheated by the idea that a day that could be full of self-indulgent pleasures is actually full of things I should do.

This self-entitlement reigns as I potter pathetically, doing a bit of this and that, but really nothing at all, before finding myself in the aforementioned ball on my bed. I’m not depressed. It’s not a state of dark, canyon-like ‘I can’t’, just a childish, spoilt ‘I don’t want to.’

I’m pleased to say that my realization of this ‘state,’ along with the idea of airing it to the world, was all the motivation I needed to get off the bed, change my attitude and get it all done. A driving factor, too, was the tardy realization that I serve a God who has a greater purpose for me than being curled up because ‘I don’t want to.’