You’ve had a day’s fill of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, some unidentified…thing… your aunt brought over, wine, champagne and anything else that wasn’t moving. You’ve, hopefully, taken time to thank God for your blessings and thanked those around you for how they’ve blessed your life or been there for you in some way or another.
Thanksgiving is a time when we set aside materialism, lift our eyes to Heaven and just say, Thank You!
(insert calming breath of gratitude here)
The day following this yearly day of thanks has become a dark day in this bloggers opinion. Instead of relaxing with family, continuing to be thankful and enjoying time off to relax and rejuvinate, it’s been replaced with the tention that comes with freezing in long lines outside our favorite retail stores in an effort to be the first to grab the latest products. Folks are sacrificing over a day and a half away from family and friends, sitting in folding chairs, drinking hot chocolate & sleeping in shifts just to grab the newest phones, games, game console, designer clothing, flat TV or some other product that will be “outdated” by the time they gather next year to repeat this greed-based ritual.
Then comes the loss of human dignity and respect once the doors are opened allowing access to the so-called must-not-miss deals.
People are willing to trample over each other like animals if it means grabbing the last X-Box or PS3. Normally respectful individuals are so caught up in not “missing out” that thay miss out on the opportunity to show love to their fellow shoppers. The cut-throat focus is on getting, getting more and me, me, me!
(so much for that calming breath)
There are some Biblical principles that, if applied to these shopping frenzies, would result in a much more humane experience.
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Imagine a crowd of folks, mowing each other down over the latest gadget. Then suddenly they all remembering this verse. They’d realize that the stuff they’re so eager to posess is not only temporary but completely unnecessary. The truly important things are those that last eternally, the things of Heaven.
This verse doesn’t say that we are to never posess anything on earth, it is reminding us that we are to keep things in propper perspective.
Instead of dad running frantic through Toys R Us, feeling pressured to get little Janine that new doll AND get that particular game for young Jason, he would be of the mindset that his children have more than enough and that they should be content with the many things they already have.
Mrs. Jones (trying to stay ahead of those trying to keep up with her) would realize how futile it is to spend so much energy and time on the limited edition, top-designer perfume while missing out on time with her grandchildren.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Man, I love this verse! Can you imagine what this world would look like if we all sought after the things of God first and let everything else fall where they may? We’d all want to please Him by loving Him and keeping His commandments which includes the golden rule found in Matthew 7:12:
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
I’d love to see a black Friday where this is practiced- patient people, lovingly letting others go infront of them, letting the other person grab the last of the hottest item off the shelf, polite excuse me’s, smiles & harmony.
As I write this blog on Friday November 27th, 2013, there are folks out there commiting these acts of greed and selfishness. My honest prayer is that as they treat each other with such disrespect, enslaved by the advertizing of retailers, that these verses and the peace of Christ will overwhelm them and bring them back into the realization that Thanksgiving is not a day on the calendar, it’s a way of life!
As it stands Black Friday just reminds me of Humanity Lost. I pray the Black Fridays of the future are characterized by more humane, compassionate and thankful human hearts.