The Sacrifice of Second Helpings

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          July 7, 2017

                               

I just finished reading Herbert Hoover: A Life by Glenn Jeansonne. An excellent book about a man who usually has become the scapegoat for the Great Depression. What I discovered about Hoover, however, is that he helped feed an estimated 83 million people, was responsible for the delivery of nearly 34 metric tons of food, clothing, and medicine to those endangered by famine and pestilence in Europe and Asia, and was known as “The Great Humanitarian.”

One of the ways he provided food to those in Europe who were starving was by convincing Americans to cut down on the portions of food that THEY were eating…even before The United States got involved in World War 1. Hoover convinced Americans to curtail their consumption of sugar, cease eating bacon and white flour, raise home gardens, and…clean their plates! Twenty million Americans signed pledge cards to abide by these guidelines and were given a sticker for their window indicating their vow to conserve.

Clergy were asked to deliver sermons that emphasized the serious nature of conservation. The term “Hooverizing” became the word that was used to describe the emphases of conserving, and Hoover and his wife Lou modeled conservation in their own home.

The nationwide effort helped feed the Allied troops and hungry European children. It was a simple solution: If we commit to eating what we need, not what we want, the excess…the second helpings!…could go to help feed others.

Amazing! American citizens saw and felt the responsibility to help the plight of others by not thinking of themselves first! The sacrifice of second helpings!

I would say such sacrifice today is only seen in pockets of our country. Little anomalies from what is the norm. The anticipated standard is consumption. We strive for more…more money, more free time, more house, more cable channels, more food in the freezer, more peace and quiet, more pairs of shoes. To sacrifice my excess for the helping of the common good is way beyond our philosophies of life. The bumper sticker, seen more and more these days slapped on the back of BMW’s and big boy trucks, that says “The one who dies with the most toys wins!”…that hints at the core of our life purpose. Most of us don’t want to openly admit that but there is truth at its center.

Of course, there is the danger of becoming arrogantly pious in the midst of sacrifice. It’s the perversion of sacrifice that is often seen in the church, a changing of something good into simply another way to judge who is really, really  spiritual and who is not as spiritual.

What would it look like today to see a mass of people sacrifice for the benefit of others? I’m talking about ongoing sacrifice, not just momentary inconvenience. What would it take for people to “buy in” to a cause that is not just a short sprint but a marathon struggle? What national or world crisis needs to happen for “Hooverizing” to re-emerge like a benevolent tsunami wave?

 

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Freedom, Jesus, love, Nation, Pastor, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: