Since we began our “Great Adventure”, one thing my husband and I have not lacked is FOOD. Oh my! We will have to go on an immediate diet when we get back to our Albertan Abode. In every restaurant we have eaten in here in the States, I’m convinced the portion sizes for one would feed a family of four! I generally take at least one half to two-thirds of my meal home and feast on the leftovers the next day with my husband. Not to mention the meals I prepare in our little home-away-from home when camping; we have taken to eating only two meals a day: a mid-morning brunch and a late supper. Eating more than that would definitely cost us in excessive poundage that would take months of work to get rid of once we got home. There is definitely a negative cost to feeding self!
A few days ago we walked along the famous Las Vegas Strip and I couldn’t help but say the same thing there: there is a cost to feeding self. In a town famous for indulging the whims and wants of people, “Sin City” lives up to its name. Although absolutely grandiose in its architectural facades from the Statue of Liberty replica at the New York, New York Hotel, to the two-story guitar at the entrance to the Hard Rock Café, everything is meant to lure and captivate, and from the crowds there on the Strip it obviously works!
My husband and I walked up and down the street and felt intimidated by all the sights and sounds. There is a dark side to Vegas and it was impossible not to notice the scantily dressed men and women on billboards and the neon flash of lights promising instant winners at gaming tables. The saying that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” might be a catchy slogan for any city or town that caters to satisfying the selfish desires of people who want to participate in selfish and sinful pursuits but it is not necessarily a true statement because “what happens in Vegas (or any other City), does not stay in Vegas”. There are always negative results that follow a person, sometimes for a lifetime, when they indulge in sin. Unfortunately a better way to encapsulate what we found on the Strip was, “every man for himself and if it feels good do it, no matter the consequences”! With that kind of attitude it’s easy to conclude that there is always going to be a negative cost to feeding self!
We walked past many street people who held up signs asking for hand-outs. Even in a town dominated by money and opulence there are the working poor and the very destitute. Although we know from our experience with panhandling in Calgary that many of those street people are just looking for money to feed addictions, others are panhandlers who entertain to attract attention. Here in Vegas we passed one man who held up a sign reading:
Need money! Wife got a sex change operation and ran off with my girlfriend!
What does one say to that??
On the drive back to our campsite in Boulder City, about twenty minutes outside of Las Vegas, we pondered upon what we had experienced there on the Strip. Certainly the sights are spectacular but I had to admit I was more impressed by what we saw off the Strip than on it.
We passed several large and what appeared to be thriving churches with parking lots full of cars. It is obvious that people recognize that their city, like any other, need Jesus Christ.
We stopped for gas at a self-serve station and a young man ran up to our truck and asked if he could wash our windows. He didn’t ask for a tip, but he did such an excellent job of it that my husband said he was glad to pay him for his effort. In every store we’ve been in here the customer service has been exceptional…you can’t help but be impressed! In our campsite, our T.V. was not picking up the cable channels and two park attendants came to help us discover why. When we still could not connect due to the analog technology not being compatible with our T.V., one of the men said we could borrow his T.V. for the duration of our stay here. That’s selflessness and THAT impression will stay with us forever.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
And so our Great Adventure continues…
Thanks, Lynn. Wonderful writing as always. Be assured there are lots and lots of Christians in Vegas and if you can find a Calvary Chapel there, I think you’d enjoy the service. I know there’s one in Henderson, but it may be easier just to Google Calvary Chapel Las Vegas. Bless the Lord ( ! ) I’m glad you’re getting to go on this trip!