Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year. Millions of people going crazy over stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have. So, today instead of giving you shopping advice I’ve decided to tell you why I’ve decided not to shop.
I remember people in my family leaving Thanksgiving dinner early to line up all night for some once in a lifetime deal and being so confused as to why they did it. I get that it’s fun… and the deals make Christmas more affordable but I’d hear the news stories after and wonder what could possibly be so enjoyable. People have actually died and had to go to the hospital while Black Friday shopping – human life completely disregarded in the hopes of getting a good deal on a T-shirt. It just blew my mind. And, the more I grow to understand this consumeristic culture that we live in, that I’ve let myself become a part of, the more I dislike it every day.
We’ve let these material things take the place of God in our lives. Could you imagine if people lined up for the Eucharist like they do for deals at Target? Could you imagine if people fought for our faith the way they fight over a pair of shoes? Could you imagine if people got as excited for adoration as they do for this day? The world would be a dramatically different place. I’m not saying this to guilt you – heck there are a couple of stores that I’m still tempted to get something from (and might) – but this year I felt God calling me to something else.
Today we celebrate the martyrs of Thailand. Men and women, missionaries and lay people, rich and poor who all gave up their lives for their faith. They realized that the things of this world are fleeting and that Heaven, God, is more important than anything this world could offer. This morning at mass our priest talked about this attachment that the martyrs had with God. An attachment we need to have. An attachment that nothing in this world could ever separate. I’m done being attached to the things of this world.
There is a part of me that loves materialism. That loves shopping and finding beautiful things and accumulating stuff, but the more I have I’ve found the more anxious I get. Research has actually shown that there is actually a negative correlation between having stuff and being truly happy.
This Black Friday, instead of investing in gifts and things for myself, I’m investing in my relationship with my Father and with my family. I’m spending time cuddling on the couch instead of waiting in lines – and I couldn’t be happier.
Now, get off my blog and go spend time with family – and don’t forget to say hi to Jesus if you can!