To make sure we were properly thankful, we decided to invent a second holiday right after Thanksgiving. It is a day where we can go to town or online and find good deals on things we don’t need so we have more things for which we can be thankful. I’d say that’s a good way to rationalize it. Obviously, the people that have the most are the most thankful. That’s what I heard anyway.
This morning seemed like an excellent morning to stay in bed and not go freeze myself waiting in line for things I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong. I have gone Black Friday shopping before, but today I decided I didn’t really need anything that badly. We went shopping later in the day once the madness had died down and I bought some nice things I didn’t need, just to make sure.
As I was getting ready this morning and standing in front of the bathroom mirror, I suddenly thought of just how ironic Black Friday really is. I brushed my teeth and thought of the fact that we had just spent the previous day celebrating what God has given us and thanking Him for His goodness. We spent it trying to conjure up feelings of contentment, but we can’t let things stay that way for even a day.
Let’s not allow our American consumerism to suffer any setbacks. Let’s counteract it by buying more things basically because they are cheap–not because we need them. Don’t misinterpret me. There are good deals to be found on things you need. You are a smart person if you need something and wait until Black Friday to buy it rather than like me. I usually get things when I want them.
It really is amazing how I can find out what I need just by walking through a store. I never knew I needed some of the things I have boughten, but there they are–yelling at me from their little perches on the shelves. I try to plug my ears and walk past them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I disgust myself by how often I adopt the American mentality of possessions bringing me happiness.
NO! That new jacket or pair of jeans will not make me happy. But too often, somehow, reason is overcome by stupidity and I allow myself to buy something else that I don’t need.
I’m guessing it also disgusts other people the way we just buy things and act like we are the only people in the world. People are starving, for crying out loud! I don’t pay any attention to that because I’m too busy deciding whether I should go out to eat for the second time today. I also don’t know that some people don’t have enough to wear because I’m trying to decide whether I can justify paying $25 for this pair of jeans. They’re normally $45! It’s such a good price! Never mind the fact that this money could dress a person in some countries for a week.
I wonder most of all how Jesus feels about it. He must be pretty sad when He gives us more money than any other people in the world and we just spend it on ourselves. Oh, we give just enough to maintain the halos over our heads, but often not much more.
I don’t know where I’m going with this but the whole irony of the whole thing really bothered me today the more I thought about it. I hope I can kick my addiction to the drug called American Consumerism. It’s going to take God’s help to do it.
Forgive me, Jesus. Forgive me for using the money that you have entrusted to me to line my pockets and make my life comfortable. Forgive me for ignoring the poverty around me. Forgive me for wanting to buy the next big thing. Help me to pay attention to the consumerism around me and steer clear of it rather than joining in this ridiculous and mad race for happiness.