Consumerism is something that seems to have recently taken my thoughts by storm. No matter where I turn, it seems to show up. Then again, it is Christmas time after all. With the economy going down, I can’t help but wonder where that leaves those like myself, continuing to further drown in debt with no prospect of getting a well-paid job once I’m through with school. To which I want to turn to the average shopper and encourage them to give (aka buy) a little more this season in order to keep the economy afloat.
This morning, I happened to see a segment on a couple who lived on a dollar a day for food. It was all very interesting, and I decided to read a bit from their blog for further details. I couldn’t decide if it gave me hope that it can be done should our economy completely sink or if it depressed me that some people are already having to look at that as their only option. It makes me tempted to consider living on a much stricter eating budget (although I will admit funds are tight, I do try to allot for adequate meals each day).
I pulled out of one of my gift exchanges with a bunch of girls from high school. I’m trying to use old gift cards to get gifts and go to Goodwill for the rest. If that works out, I’m hoping to pull off spending less than $50 for gifts, which is quite a feat considering those I’m supposed to buy for and the recommended rate for each gift. When and why did it become a necessary gift-giving season?
Although none of this may seem to relate, I find it to be an incredible mixture of thoughts. The world makes it so easy to focus on ridiculous things by being caught up in the sheer perception of importance, and lose track of real meaning. Today at church we read a passage from Mark 4:14-20 about the soil, in which Jesus said, “The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”
This just speaks magnitudes about Christians. We’ve heard the truth, the purpose, and the ultimate meaning of life for years each Sunday morning but suddenly become overtaken by the idea the failing economy, a lackage in tasty food, and constant expectations for things that may even be nice things, but not necessary. Consumerism is a desire for other things, so when that chokes out the word, what good is that? Despite my hope for a healthy economy, what is so much more important is to be fruitful in my walk with Christ. As a Christian, it seems absolutely essential that I live my life in a way that does not depend on materials, including food, in order to set a standard of trusting in God, and only Him to live.
Lyrics from I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.