Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Need Help

“Joe, I need help”.
“Joe, I need help. Please.” This is what I heard Denise say. It wasn’t a scream for protection, it was more of a muttered frustration. I walked over to where she was…on the baby food aisle in Wal Mart. Here was her problem. “I can’t choose. My brain has shut down. There are too many options.”

Now granted we had been awake for over 40 hours (we could not sleep on the plane for some reason). Also, this was the first time we were purchasing Baby Food. It cost too much to buy in Bolivia and the fruit is much better. However, I did not see what the problem was. Then it dawned on me. There was simply an overload of choices. If there had been one choice, or even two, it would have been easy. But now, suddenly there are all these nice packaged and attractive boxes, jars, and plastic containers staring at you. I did the super dad thing. I reached up and grabbed one. No time to think. No time to process. Act now!

Two things happened. First of all, we forgot to take the baby food with us to the conference the next day, which is why we purchased it. The second thing…she did not like the mixed tutti fruit applesauce cinnamon stuff I got her.

However, this did get me to thinking, so, while Denise was still stumbling like a zombie through the aisle of the super Wal Mart, I went to the chip section. I counted. Yes. I counted. How many chip options do you think the Wal Mart in Charles Town West Virginia offers to its discriminating shopper? I counted flavors and sizes…here you go. You have 197 different options available to you.

We go to the store to purchase chips, and we have to decide between 197 types, flavors, and sizes. In Bolivia, and where we live is in a city of almost a million, we pretty much have two choices. You can get a potato chip or you can get a tortilla chip.

What is my point? I don’t know. Maybe we spend so much energy making chip choices that we don’t have the strength to decide on the big stuff that matters? Maybe we devote so much time to keeping our options open, that we never do anything? Maybe Wal Mart has a lot of chips?

All I know, is to be honest, I have been able to survive for over two years with a lot more chip choices than I used to… and I like it.


Carter said...

Maybe this is an odd comment to go with your odd post but, I think this observation hits on one of the BIGGEST problems that we have in the US. We are 1) spoiled and 2) deceived by the non-important but seemingly urgent things in our lives.
Does it matter what chips we bring home? Maybe to the kids, but there is food in the fridge and for that alone we should be exceedingly thankful. What percentage of the world population can't even say that.
We should be spending far more time thanking God for what He has done and continues to do for us on a minute by minute basis.
Miss you guys!