Today I went shopping with the gift card that I was given for Christmas. The stores were crowded, but it wasn't exactly Boxing Day Ballistic. Nonetheless, just as every other time I go shopping, I was filled with... frustration. I feel embarrassed, and annoyed with myself, and everyone around me.
I almost try to hide the things I am purchasing, because I am embarrassed to have the money to purchase them. I know we are so rich here in Canada. Even those who think they are poor on a First-World Country's standard are kings compared to the billions of people in the world that will never see more money in their lives than we see in a day.
I've been especially self-conscious of every spoiled word and phrase and action I see around me, or those I make. "Can I have seconds?" "That's not fair... I already did more than my share of chores today." Big deal. We are so wimpy! We are so ungrateful. Every prayer we murmur contains a "Thank you," or two, or even an acknowledgment of our "many blessings," but we don't really realize it. Sometimes I wonder if all these... things, are really a blessing at all.
Consumerism. Wants are disguised as needs, which leads to debt, depression, and destruction. Why are the richest countries in the world also the saddest? We have some of the largest percentages of suicides. This is where our greediness has brought us, and we fail to attribute our issues to our incurable disease called WANT.
At every checkout counter, there are dozens of scandalous magazines shooting out headlines. The thing I notice most... they're all the same. There's nothing new. Nothing original. "30 New Fat-Burning Excercises!" "Greatest Health Recipies!" "Life Hacks 101!" It's been that way for years, why are we still so gullible? People continue to purchase these magazines with these claims, even though these are the exact same claims magazines have been making for years. Nothing exciting. If it didn't work before, why do people still fall into the trap and try again and again? Can't they see that it isn't making them happy?
There is the problem. Happiness. "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." It's a well-known phrase, but is more often than not, gone about all the wrong way. People are always pursuing happiness. People are almost always pursuing happiness in the completely wrong places, unfortunately.
Don't forget that Christian fall into that same trap as well. I was reminded of that today. To humans, God is not a tangible, visible thing that we can grasp. That is one of the reasons that many refuse to believe. Their belief is that if you cannot see, hear, feel, taste, or smell something... it doesn't exist.
I fail so often to remember that God is more than enough for me. I lie to myself and think I 'need' all these new products or clothing items or electronics... but I don't need any of it. Only God can ever satisfy. Trying to fill emptiness with anything of the world is so pointless- it only makes the gaping gap bigger. There is only one way it can be filled, and that is Jesus.
I sometimes wonder if it pains God when we want worldly things so badly. We pray, "God, please give me that car. That phone. That relationship. That house. That pet." I can just imagine Him wanting to shake us and bring us to our senses! A car may be of great value to us, but to a God who created and owns everything, and has never had a beginning and will never have an end... it's lower than dust.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We may plead, "Please Lord, help me earn the money to buy that car!" I can just picture Him telling us, "Yes, I could give you that car. But I am wanting to give you so much more! I just wish you would ask for joy. I wish you would ask for peace. I can give you patience. I love to give good gifts to you, my child, but you keep asking for worthless trinkets. That car will fade away like grass. But these things I can give to you, a relationship with Myself, will never fade away."
We know these truths, but we continuously forget. We constantly put a relationship with God at the bottom of the list, and those top slots change as often as the wind. It's proof of how fickle we are.
A lot of people want a stable life. Imagine how solid one's life could be if God occupied that #1 spot. If everything else on that list, everything that was desirable, reflected what God would have them desire. Everything they desire would be for good, it would all be according to God's plan.
We do have that opportunity- each one of us! When we put God first and give Him the role of Lord in our lives, He will lead us down the right path.
It may be a little late to make a new Christmas list, but what about a New Year's Resolution?
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.