When I lived in Afghanistan, I was not able to have a hot bath or shower for a year and a half! Although we had cold-water plumbing, the majority of Afghans did not. (And yes, I did bathe every day—we called it a ‘bucket’ bath!) Perhaps my abiding appreciation for hot & cold running water is compelling me to comment on today’s news story of the crippled Carnival Cruise ship. Due to a fire in the engines, the passengers endured two days without electricity, backed-up toilets, and worst of all, according to many of them, cold showers (and they had to eat canned food!). It will evermore be known as the ‘nightmare’ cruise.
As I read the article, I was reminded of the 3 billion people on our planet who live without access to proper sanitation, of the 2 billion people who have no electricity, of the 1.1 billion who do not have access to clean drinking water, and the 22,000 children who die each day of starvation and preventable diseases.
Something is really wrong when we think what happened on the Carnival Cruise ship is a nightmare. It was nothing more than an inconvenience (nobody was injured; no one died). As our American culture of consumerism and narcissism increases, can I ask you to join me today to remember and recommit ourselves to the attitude of Jesus (who lived his entire life without hot and cold running water, power or indoor plumbing) as expressed by the words of Paul: If we have food & clothing, let us be content (1 Tim. 6:8).