Wednesday, November 30, 2011

when stuff becomes too much

Do you ever wonder sometimes if those in under-developed countries are really more blessed than we are? Is America truly blessed just because it can walk into the nearest big box store and purchase anything our little hearts desire? And even delay the payment with this nifty thing called credit nonetheless. I was in Walmart today, which I just despise, for toiletries and other products not available at Aldi. I like to shop, when I have money. When I don't, the best course of action for me is just to avoid. So that's what I try and do - avoid. When I can't avoid it any longer, I despise the trip because I have to be "careful." No browsing aisles, just the list. Shopping with a 2 year old that wants to walk (or should I say run) the aisles makes just shopping in general no fun - on or off the list!

So as I was pulling out of the parking lot, contemplating how $60 was spent so quickly on a cart of less than twenty items, I just felt so defeated. Defeated that I can't make it within our budget. Defeated that items cost so much. To counteract that, I prayed. I prayed prayers of gratefulness for all I do have. Which lead me to think about what I just bought. Things that were truly basic "needs" (toilet paper, baby wipes, ground beef, yogurt). And then my thoughts turned to those out of the country. Pictures of African villages entered my mind. What their "needs" look like. How do they do it? Maybe it's "easier" to live like that (and yes, I say that tongue in cheek) because it's all they've ever known. When do all our conveniences become inconvenient?

I don't really know where I'm going with all this. I just thought I'd put it out there as my thoughts still wander... what I have, what I need, is it possible to exist in America with little? How is it possible to live in such a materialistic society but not be surrounded with things?

With black Friday and cyber Monday, the "deals" and "sales" and "specials" are overwhelming. I am tired of hearing about it all. I can stay away from stores (to a point) but they are all over the internet. So I avoid the internet. But then what? I miss out in other ways. Ugh. Just so sick of consumerism.

Does anyone know what I mean?

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hey - I was clicking "next blog" from my ministry blog and you were the next one. I go to Uganda twice a year, and work in the slums, villages, etc. It makes you see things differently here, for sure, esp for my kids.But after a lot of thought and prayer, here's where I come to on the "stuff". God isn't surprised I was born in the US in this time. He knows (and knew beforehand) what the country was like. If I hadn't been born here, I couldn't do what I do in Uganda, because it is from the blessings we have that the funds are available. If you are giving, tithing, serving, staying out of debt, etc - basically doing all that God shows you to do - and listen to him about purchases, I honestly don't think "stuff" is a problem. It's when we live for stuff, buy stuff we don't need and can't afford, buy stuff instead of giving and tithing and helping others... that's when we're way off base. I get tired of the holiday consumerism and despise the whole Black/cyber whatever day it is thing, too. But I am thankful to live in a nation that has financed so many outreaches around the world, and from which so many missionaries and those with visions to help others have come. Blessings to you! I enjoyed your blog!