An 11 Year Old's Thoughts on Material Possessions
"Jack, come on buddy, it's time for prayer...."
"Michael, tell your brother we're getting ready to start
praise and worship."
"Where's Jack? Mass is about to start."
|Bringing our hearts and minds into the Lord's presence|
as we prepare for praise & worship at Big Woods...
where is Jack?
|Morning prayer at with the FMC community at Big Woods...|
where is Jack?
When Jack and I talk about his relationship with Jesus he assures me that "everything is fine Mom", but deep down I've wondered what's really going on inside that 11 year-old boy's mind. A couple weeks ago Jack did a writing assignment for school that gave me some insight that I thought you might enjoy as well.
Each week the kids in his class are required to write their teacher a letter which includes some of their thoughts on the current topic of study. Here is the letter Jack wrote:
|Jack holding his paper from school.|
I liked learning about the European explorers this week. The thing that was most interesting is how Marco Polo inspired the other Europeans to explore Asia. They found riches such as spices, ceramics and leather. These things did not exist in Europe in the 1400s so that is why people wanted them.
When we read about the Europeans' challenges at sea it seemed obvious that some of their problems were malnourishment, getting lost at sea, lack of food, storms, strikes of the crew and such. Taking all these risks was definitely worth it to spread the Catholic faith, but not just to get rich and have power.
When we went into missions I had to give all my material goods away. I learned that material goods come and go and it doesn't matter. It's definitely not worth risking my life just to get some fancy stuff.
When I was in Peru, I missed my family and friends like the explorers did when they were at sea. I am excited that my friends from Michigan are coming for Thanksgiving.
Here's what Jack said:
"First of all, you shouldn't be connected to materials things because they break, get lost, stolen or whatever and so it's not worth it. In Peru I didn't have very many toys, but sometimes the toys that I did have would get stolen by the kids in the neighborhood because they didn't have any toys at all and were jealous. And then the other kids would be mean to them because they stole from us. This made me feel really sad for the kids that stole the stuff because they would be bullied by the other kids. I guess I felt sad for all of them because they were all being really nasty to each other just because of some stuff."
|Jose, Fernando and their little sister Brittany stole my stuff |
all the time. It made me crazy, but it was hard because they
had nothing and didn't know any better.
|Me playing football with my sister Anna|
and my brother Michael at our home in Louisiana.
Jack said, "A lot of times when you are too focused on things you don't spend time with other people - sometimes materials things can separate you from family members, which is terrible. It's better to spend time with people than to just sit around spending time with stuff."
|Playing with my brother and sister is way|
better than having a bunch of stuff!!
"Some people talk about wanting to be rich. They want to be rich because they want to have a lot of things. I don't really understand this because material things just ruin people's lives - for real!!! The kids in Peru play with junk and they are happy because they have great imaginations. And they don't worry about other kids stealing their "junk" as I would call it if I never went to PERU. So their "toys" were better than mine because they made them happy - for real. I use to want a lot of stuff, but now I know that I don't need stuff to be happy. It makes me happy when people love Jesus because when people really know Jesus they are nice to each other and that's all that really matters."
Over the last four years countless people have said to Chris and me, "How do you think this is affecting your kids?" To be honest, I don't know for sure, but when I hear my 11 year-old say that risking one's life to spread the Gospel is definitely worth it and that "when people really know Jesus they are nice to each other and that's all that really matters." it makes me think it might not be all bad. I feel thankful for the grace I've received to meet Jack where he's at....because it seems like a really awesome place!!!
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