Friday, November 28, 2008

Stuffing and stuff. . . .

Yesterday was the holiday we know as Thanksgiving. As a Christian, my memories are of Thanksgivings that had an aspect of deep gratitude towards God for His multiplicity of physical and spiritual blessings. As an adult, Thanksgiving has become a day of contrasts. Our culture is changing. On the day we should be thinking thankfully about good stewardship, we've gotten all wrapped up in spending.

I've got the feeling that we need to dig deeper and deeper to remember and celebrate what Thanksgiving is really about. That's one of the ironic detrimental results of abundance. . . . . so much stuff that we fail to see, recognize, or remember the Source of it all. In other words, we should be more thankful than ever for what we do have. Instead, we tend to complain about never having enough. And then we spend a good chunk of the day planning our route to redemption through the accumulation of stuff on the day after.


Today is Black Friday. . . . and I'm not sure why I've capitalized the name of the day except for the fact that it's now attained some level of status as a holiday. According to legend, the name was coined by members of the Philly police department who had to handle the overwhelming crowds and traffic in the city on the first shopping day after Thanksgiving.

Now, it's crazy. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania - where I live - the Rockvale Square outlets opened at 12:01am this morning to accommodate shoppers. Are you kidding me???? I read reports of people who had camped out in tents in front of a variety of stores in a variety of places in order to be the first through the doors. Want to know how crazy it is? A Wal-Mart worker was killed and four others injured when eager shoppers stampeded through the doors of a Wal-Mart store on Long Island this morning.

Look at what we've become. We're nuts. Seriously. Maybe an economic crisis with long-lasting consequences that will drive us to our knees is just what the Great Physician ordered.

2 comments:

Janet said...

I so avoid being out on the streets on "Black Friday". I really dislike shopping when it involves lots and lots of people. Plus the driving in traffic is worse that the crowds of people at the Mall.

Something is wrong when people crash through a door before the store opens, killing someone, just to get some "great" buy. I am sadden by some of the things I see or hear.

I like to buy gifts for those I love and care for. And I like to get things they really would like to have. BUT not so much as to arise early or to camp out.

For some time now many believers have felt that the people of the US need to be on their knees. It's a hard place to get to sometime with all the busyness of life. It is so sad that it is taking so much just to get us into the presence of God and to realize what all we have in and through Him.

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph was pretty poignant... Something I've been thinking about and holding in my heart for some time. Maybe this is exactly what we need as a wake up call to our great sin of materialism. Thanks for having the guts to write it down.