Ok, hear me out.
Different people I know live in different ways. My friends who live in Thailand and Croatia deal with issues unique to those countries and cultures. My buddies in NYC, or Madison, WI, also have their particular joys and struggles in life that are inherent given where they call home. Each place has its obvious positives and negatives.
My wife's brother and his family live in a very unique place just north of Phoenix. It's called Anthem
. I've been out here 5 or 6 times since they moved here. Each time I come I am taken aback by the "ease" of life here. Golf courses, gobs of playgrounds, a train through the park, neighborhood rec center, water park, fishing ponds, roller blade stadium, walk ways, hiking paths, bike trails, cul de sacs, and on and on and on. You name it and it is here. What I always start assuming when I first get here is how great everyone's life is. No desperation and no longing for the good life. They have found it! Obviously, these people have no real problems in life. Their kids run free and are safe doing so. They all have nice houses, beautiful yards, shiny cars, and plenty of discretionary income.
As I'm here a bit longer though, I start to see things more clearly. Lots of stay at home moms whose kids see their daddies leave very early in the morning and come home very late in the evening. Lots of trying to keep up with the affluency of their neighbors. Lots of entertainment. Lots of "more". I think about the Fellowship Church, the Canyon Church, the Grace North Church, the new Catholic and Lutheran Churches that are being either planted or built here. I see the challenges they are facing in trying to bring The Life to those who are living the life. It's different than what we face in Russia or what others face in their respective mission fields. It's different but it is no less daunting.
If you are thinking of a place to move and live, let me suggest Anthem. If Traci and I had the money, it'd be hard to not at least pray about being here. It is a place that needs mature Christians who are committed to living a credible Christian example within an affluent context. I applaud my brother in law and his family. They are light and life here in a way I doubt I could be. I applaud those planting churches here. They are expressing bodylife in a way that is applicable here. Though the initial take on this place is that "they have it all," we know all they have is useless if they don't first have Christ.
Don't let affluency (or the lack of it) throw you off from seeing where people itch. Seek it out, latch on to it, and then help people scratch that itch. Meeting them where they are is very much what we are called to do.
Now, I gotta get back to the big screen and SportsCenter...