What am I worth?

Do you have profound thoughts in the shower? I certainly do…even at 6 am on a weekday.

I was thinking about the hot water pouring over me: how much expense, planning, myriad of processes it took to get this reasonably clean water to my apartment, heated and pumped up to the shower nozzle at 2.something gallons a minute. I take a 10 minute shower. Yeah…its a long hot shower. I count it as a “poor” woman’s luxury. That equals around 25 gallons a day (or less, cause I wash my hair every other day, knocks off 2.5 minutes…..don’t ask what I do with the remainder of the time ;).

Reading through this site and its challenge made me think about water usage…

I could easily use a five gallon solar shower 6 months out of the year, with no electricity wasted in heating. It would pay for itself in less than two months.

Coming back to the theme of luxury…

What do I think I deserve?

Some ideas common to our culture (and personally guilty on all points) which we think we deserve:

  • Fresh salad mixed in January, shipped at least 1,000 miles from Yuma or Cali.
  • For that matter, almost 99% of my daily food which is not produced within 200 miles of my home.
  • Aforementioned hot, clean, abundant water to bath myself with on demand.
  • Internet Access.
  • More than, lets say, three pairs of shoes.
  • More than 5 clean, decent dresses.
  • Central heating.
  • Air conditioning (I could stand less, way less).
  • Bananas.
  • and so forth…

Pondering all this…while gazing at the chrome finished fixtures on my bathtub, I reasoned I am not worth all the fuss that is the Modern Government-Industrial-Military Complex. Not in the GRAND Eternal Scheme of Things. I cannot…in my right mind….demand a lettuce leaf of 1 nutritional calorie fresh on my plate in January…unless I grew or a friend grew it under a hoop greenhouse.

Is this how revolutions are begun?


10 Responses to “What am I worth?”

  1. 1 Jon in France October 8, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    We are currently “between” hot water systems as our oil boiler has been removed and we are awaiting the return of the plumber to fit the new and highly sophisticated combined solar / wood fired system. This being France the date of his return is a hazy one at “some point in the future.”

    As a result we heating water with electric are now starting to really appreciate the cost. I put three children in the bath simultaneously this evening, which they thought was fun, and then had a shower that lasted about 45 seconds.

    I think I’d call being able to keep clean and warm as being pretty basic comforts, but some of the other items on your list I agree could be done without.

    The way things are going I imagine we may shortly be finding out just how simply we can live. And I’m not sure that this will be such a bad thing.

    Mind you, I’ll miss the internet.

  2. 2 amberpeace October 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    What I try, try, TRY to state is that Christ bought what our freedom really is
    The rest – comfort. Comfort isn’t bad – until it’s bought at the pain and death of other people.

  3. 3 Emily Kate October 9, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I’m not sure I follow. I earn money at work and spend it as I choose, on things like vegetables and hot water. I fail to see how that this has anything to do with my “worth”.

  4. 4 Anna October 9, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Jon~ I agree with being clean and warm. There are better ways to achieve this than the forms currently available…which follows to Emily Kate’s wondering what I was trying to say…..

    My “worth” in this case is all the complicated systems I am “required” to have in order to maintain warmth, cleanliness, and basic food. I do not need all the fuss…therefore, my worth in the modern support structure is much less. I like being small.

  5. 5 Emily Kate October 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    A dictionary definition of worth is “good or important enough to justify” … is this what you were getting at?

    Or are you saying that we don’t really *need* a lot of the things we assume are necessities?

    Maybe these statements sound like the same thing in different words but I think there is a difference between “not needing” and “not deserving”. For example: Say my friend and I both work together to build a website for a paying client, and my friend puts in more hours of productive work than I. Does she not deserve to be paid or given credit proportionately to the work she put in to the project, regardless of need? Perhaps this a strictly capitalist point of view.

  6. 6 amberpeace October 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Emily Kate,
    It is a strictly form of capitalist view. Think of the parable about the vineyard owner who paid all the workers the same amount – even if they had worked for just a few hours (maybe an hour!) they got a days wage.

    I really think Christians need to remember that to be a Christian is to throw aside fairness. Grace and Mercy do not come fairly! Think of what would happen if God decided to treat us with fairness by what we’ve done! I think this should be extended to the way we interact – even on a monetary level – with other people. Acts told us that everyone threw in their money and then it was parcelled out back to those who needed it. You could be a wealthy and business savvy landowner – but you got as much as you needed and so does the newly freed slave who has nothing and didn’t work to get the money like you did.

  7. 7 Emily Kate October 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    amberpeace – If God does not treat us fairly according to the way we live our lives, why does it matter how we live them? I would prefer to take responsibility for my mistakes and credit for my successes. I would be awfully discouraged if I worked hard only to fare no better than those who did not work at all.

  8. 8 amberpeace October 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Yet, that’s how it works. Romans 2 tells us we will be judged by what we know, not by what we are ignorant of.
    Your reward will be no less and no more than mine, when the Kingdom is in it’s fullness. We will both be inrobed in white and standing with our Lord. Until then – we treat others like the kingdom is coming.

  9. 9 Emily Kate October 10, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Again, I am missing something. Can you explain what you mean by being “judged by what we know”? My upbringing was agnostic, so biblical references are meaningless to me.

  10. 10 amberpeace October 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I think the easiest and best way for me to explain that on a blog comment space is as follows –

    The person who is not taugth the gospel cannot be damned for not knowing the gospel. If they know to not murder – they are judged by that. If they know to seek after a higher power – they are judged by that. If they come to hear about Christ’s life, death, and ressurection and his teachings – they are judged by that.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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