I normally try to avoid the mall at all costs, but recently I had to venture out into the “Prime Shopping Madness” to make some returns. It was a few weeks before Christmas, but already I could feel the “Greedy Grasping Empty Materialism” in the air of the department stores as I entered.
I looked around at all the people buying and buying and searching and searching. So many people trying to fill a void with a bunch of stuff. I was guilty myself because there I was returning things that I had compulsively bought online weeks prior.
When they came in they had already lost their sparkle that caught my eye in the first place.
I love that I can recognize when I am being compulsive in my shopping now. I did not always recognize it or think I had an issue, and sometimes still, I can just be disobedient and do it anyway. I still try to fill a void with stuff sometimes instead of allowing God to fill me when I am feeling a little low.
As I continued to reflect on my Mall Madness experience, I was reminded of it over and over and even started to notice the same atmosphere at Costco, and Walmart, and even the Dollar Store this week. Carts so full of stuff, but the look on people’s faces were not full of happiness at all. All I saw was stress, and fear, and guilt, and pressure, and rushing. I started to wonder, where are all the happy and joyful people?
Are these people trying to fill a void? Do their spouses or families have too high of expectations for Christmas? Are their children so full of entitlement that they have to have more and more to be happy? Are they trying to impress the Jones’? Are they addicted or compulsive too? Why do so many people have to make Christmas about having more? More presents, More lights, More food, More parties, More rushing, More stressing, More More More.
Has materialism run amuck?
Just watch the news coverage on Black Friday shopping and for the riots over the Michael Jordan shoes coming out…. Yep, Materialism has run amuck!
Look at the definitions of the words:
Materialism-a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
Amuck-wildly out of control.
Yep! When people are knocking down grannies to get their shop on-Houston we got a problem- Materialism has run amuck indeed! It is wildly out of control and spiritual values are hard to find with all the stuff filling up the baskets and drowning out lives.
This verse caught my attention as I was pondering and praying for all those unhappy people I encountered these past few weeks.
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17 The Message MSG
Love of the world does squeeze out love for God and love for others too!
What if we all celebrated differently this Christmas?
What if Christmas was not about all the “stuff” and presents, but about slowing down to rest in His Presence and with those we love?
What if instead of exchanging gifts, we share the Greatest Gift, Jesus, with a lonely, hurting, basket stuffing, mad, angry world?
~ XXOO, Michelle Bollom