As I sit at my desk in my little room downstairs, I’m listening to the rain and thinking about how nice it is to be inside, warm & content. The weather alerts keep popping up to tell me that the cold weather is on it’s way and indicating that the rain will more than likely turn to ice before it’s all said & done. But for the moment, I don’t care. There are cares around every corner, trouble just outside our four walls, and heartaches a mere phone call away … but for right now, we have given our cares and concerns to the Lord and the world can’t touch us.
I was reading earlier about how a woman in Clarksville, Tennessee had been trampled by other shoppers at a ToysRUs ® store. My first thought was – and we wonder why God is going to chastise this country! Back when I was a kid and families would get together over the Thanksgiving weekend. The men would often watch sports or go fishing/hunting together. The women would either sit around chatting or go down to the mall for some group shopping on Friday. (Men hunt one way - Women hunt another!) Both groups would have a relaxing day with family & friends. Later they would gather around the supper table for leftovers and cards. In the 80’s that all seemed to change. Remember the Cabbage Patch Dolls ®? The obsessive frenzies in acquiring these ugly stuffed dolls was making news all over the world. People were shocked and horrified at the idea of people going insane over buying a child’s toy. Not anymore. Every year it’s the same thing. Stories of mobs, riots, and carnage rarely even make it to the newspapers unless someone dies. And we wonder why God is going to chastise this country! Let’s see … selfishness, greed, waste of God-given resources … the list goes on and on. Whenever I let my guard down and start looking at the ads for gifts for family & friends, I read something like this and get slapped back into reality. NO! The celebration of the birth of Christ is not going to be tainted by selfish commercialism! My Lord did not come to earth to live & die for this. I have again resolved to boycott black Friday and all non-essential shopping between now and New Years day. I encourage you to look at yourself, at your lifestyle, and consider doing the same. I’m aware that the economy of our country is in the toilet and that the spreading of the wealth through the plazas and malls is considered a patriotic gesture on our parts … but the economy can be bolstered just as well by stepping up to the plate and paying our bills and providing for the needs of our neighbors. Someone lied and convinced us that our children will be emotionally scared if they didn’t find the latest contraption under the tree on Christmas morning. We bought into that lie – hook, line, and sinker. If only we/they would be contented with just 1 contraption. Commercials and advertisements have shamed us into believing that the entire room must be filled with boxes stacked on top of boxes filled with expensive gifts to be assured a merry Christmas for one and all.
Honey and I were talking about this the other night and I made a prediction. For the next six weeks, watch and see if the crime rate in the United States doesn’t go up to record setting numbers. With between 20 & 25 percent of our workforce unemployed, theft will skyrocket everywhere. Food and essentials will only be a small portion of the items stolen. People will feel so pressured to provide ‘christmas’ for their families that what can’t be stolen and recycled under their own trees will be sold on the black market for cash. I suspect Craigslist & ebay will be full of ‘new’ gift-giving items just in time for Christmas. There will probably be more violent acts and suicides committed due to the enormous pressure and frustration people will be feeling due to the ‘need’ to provide stuff. And Christians will not be immune from any of this.
Folks, have we truly gotten to this point? Have we let the lies of the world into our homes to the point where we have bastardized the birth of Jesus? Christians, we’re as bad as everyone else! Children are dying all around the world for lack of food, shelter, and clean water while someone is getting trampled at a ToysRUs ® store!!!
Gone are the days of leisurely shopping with the girls. Gone are the days of saving the spare change all year to buy a simple doll out of the Sears & Robuck catalog and selling a hog to buy shoes for the kids. Gone is the innocence of “Silent Night, Holy Night”.
I know that my little boycott won’t make any difference to the stores down at the plaza. But God and I will know. That’s all that matters anyway. Oh by the way, I have one of those ugly dolls on a shelf in my little room. A woman that my Aunt used to work with made it by hand years ago.
Have a good night, and may the Lord bless you.