photo credit: becoming minimalist
My breath retreats deep inside of my gut as the brisk air threatens to take it away. The sky is still dark, but my eyes are wide and my brain is humming with excitement.
Admittedly, I’m a junkie.
From my early teen years on I joined the myriad of American’s who faithfully sleep off only a percentage of their turkey coma before launching themselves out into the arena of retail to prove just exactly how un-thankful we are the day after Thanksgiving.
I love shopping it. During my retail working days in college I loved working it. Extroverted, aesthetically inclined and grazing the American poverty line, Black Friday appeals to a very deep place within me.
However, with my growing understanding of how our consumerist culture harms the world around us and the people we share it with; how our insatiable desire for “more” enslaves many of our brothers and sisters worldwide, my beloved Black Friday was met with more than a little mixed emotion last year. I swore I wouldn’t go out.
I found myself in line at Target at 11:30pm Thanksgiving night anyway.
…and then again in Boston Store, Macy’s and Banana Republic after lunch.
I believe that life is more than just the here and now though.
I believe that these trinkets and knick-knacks, however “shiny” and “new”…
“hot item of the season”
…that they do not give life.
Stuff does not give life.
This year, I want to understand this and believe this with my hands and feet and not just my mouth and my brain.
I want to believe it with my wallet.
I want to understand that stuff does not give life by giving it away, and not just to friends and family.
I want to change the world, or at least my little corner of it.
Many of us desire that, I think.
How are we ever going to see beyond ourselves enough to touch our neighbors when we have a mountain of stuff blocking our view?
How are we ever going to build relationships when we are too busy building bigger barns?
(see Luke 12:13-21)
How can we change are corner of the world, when we blend right in? Chasing consumption and lusting after its trinkets.
You – your hands, your feet, your wallet – can do it this year!
This is a process so painful to us privileged. Lately I wonder is whether we settle for substitution instead of pursuing abstinence. Like buying from local merchants, not national chains – buying natural, not chemical – buying one, not two – instead of just not buying. Oh I hate processes. They’re so unproductive and unamerican. 🙂