I’m presently thankful yet disgusted.
I have many things to be thankful for – my family, friends, church, job, shelter, food, God’s provision in my life. We are so blessed in our daily lives and yet we seem to take each other for granted so easily. Case in point: Black Friday.
We’re in the beginning days of the holiday season, a time of year that I absolutely love. With the way things are going in the world right now, we all need something bright in our lives to focus on and I am hopeful that this Christmas will mean more to people than it may have in the past.
And yet there’s something dangerously associated with the holidays. Materialism. Things. Bling. Stuff. And good God in heaven…we have something called “Black Friday”. Now I do like shopping, but this is the epitome of our materialism in this country. I am not saying you are a bad person if you shop on this day, some people give from the heart and enjoy the rush. But on the other hand, there are some who go with greedy hearts and minds to get so that they can get in return.
It disgusts me that I just heard on the news about a Wal-Mart employee in New York being KILLED because of a mob of 2,000 people outside the store suddenly came rushing, running, trampling, and walking right by him when the doors opened. It repulses me. What is wrong with us??? Is what you “need” worth more than a person’s life? Will you die without it? How can you walk by or OVER someone who is on the floor pleading for someone to help them? Why are we becoming more like the priest and levite and less like the Good Samaritan? Just walking off to the side, ignoring those who need our help (and yes, there is a double entandre there – the unsaved AND the phsyically sick). Will those people who got their precious little items and so easily forgot the man dying on the floor find real joy their gift? It would haunt me forever to know what had happened and I’d not helped.
What has happened to us? Just yesterday while eating lunch at my Aunt’s house with several of her friends, we were talking about how different the world we live in is from just a year ago. We’ve lost our sense of who we are. Things are so different. So divided. This is not the country I remember growing up in. Something has been lost. I do not say that lightly. I am so blessed to have been born here and to have what I’ve been given. Where is our gratefulness?
God forgive us for being so self absorbed. God forgive us for thinking of ourselves first. God forgive us for forgetting the spirit of this season. God forgive us for losing our way. Bring us back.
Now, I say all of that, but I remain an eternal optimist. I am hopeful that there is a reason for all of this, that we will learn something valuable both individually and as a whole from this. To some extent, I think people have – starting with their finances. However, materialism still has a strong hold over us. It is my hope that this holiday season that those who are lost, who are seeking joy in the things that they give and receive will seek something to fill that stuff-filled void and find Christ.