The Other Addiction

We are, on some level, consumed with the question of life’s meaning – and death accentuates it. Our culture (any culture) promises what it can never deliver.

In our culture – the Big Promise is Consumerism. If you have the right things you will be safe, happy and live a meaningful life.

We call our largest day of consumerism “Black Friday.” It is an apt name. People have died; violence happens; it is an ordeal – no one “wins” – not really.

(If you must, at least take this guy’s advice)

 

It is a day (after Thanksgiving of all days, and a precursor to Advent) to stay as far away from a store as possible….drive to a beach or a quiet place with a picnic. Or, if you must? Sit around and make ornaments that day for your tree or go out and clean a park.

Relax. You were never going to get all that stuff they say you need anyway and if you did it would not make you deeply happy or content.

You have what you need. You have a life to give back to God and to love others with no matter how imperfectly. And the Holy Spirit has given you spiritual gifts (at least a few) – not for yourself – and this is good) but for the benefit of others.

Don’t believe in the Spirit? That’s okay… just pitch in and help where your passion leads you.

As you get your own Self (Ego) out of the way and are used to love others with these gifts you will find your life is meaningful . You will find that you are “laying up treasure in heaven where thief cannot steal, rust cannot decay and moth cannot eat away.”
Paul of Tarsus spoke of this as the “hidden life” (Col. 3:1-4). He says that when “Christ is revealed with glory” your life will also be revealed with Him as the most meaningful life. Do not worry that it is temporarily hidden now.

It is hidden anyway, right?

Who cares? No one;  for they are all too busy saying “look at me, look at me!” when they (like me) are just a vapor.

You are free to live a meaningful life now. Stop striving after what you cannot keep; embrace what cannot ever be taken away.

 It is the intersection of asking Him for your daily bread and knowing that at the same time you do not live by bread alone. He answers both.

You do not have to give things up so much as choose new things that will feed and replenish your soul. The person who finds the true food and drink for the soul does not search about anxiously grabbing at things to consume to momentarily arrest or divert their hunger or thirst. They are more content and directed. They feel a gratitude to God.

When Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up all he had before following Him, Jesus was not setting a mandate on the Rich or primarily concerned with the Poor. It was to lighten that man’s terrible burden. A different man would not have been enslaved to his riches, but this man was. So Jesus was giving him an opportunity to be free – to give up what held him personal captive in order to have the most meaningful life  following the most important man in human history. But he would not.

Now what ever happened to that man? Nothing at all. He became dust.

You may feel your life is meaningless but it is not. God’s valuation is utterly different and God’s valuation is all that matters. Getting in tune with His love and the meaning of your life in Him as your measure is your peace and your navigation. It is your contentment and your daily direction.  It is the intersection of asking Him for your daily bread and knowing that at the same time you do not live by bread alone. He answers both.

Take back that beautiful day after Thanksgiving. Many of you have it off work. Don;t let it be a day of stress-laden consumer-madness. Instead of a Black Friday let it be a Multi-Colored day of freedom and play!

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