In New York on Black Friday, a man working at a Wal-Mart died when impatient shoppers trampled over him as the doors were opened in a rush to get at many of the deals they wanted. When attempts were made to evacuate the store by telling shoppers that someone had died, they just kept right on shopping.
There are areas where malls are going to be open at midnight on Thanksgiving night and many people will skip Thanksgiving just because they want to be able to get in on some deals earlier. In past years, people have been murdered just because they had a Playstation 3.
Interesting that a blog on Jesus’s question of where your treasure is comes just after Black Friday.
Have we lost sight of what this season is all about?
Now I’ve got a wish list for Christmas of course, but as I get older, it gets harder and harder. I just really can’t think of a lot of things that I want. It truly is more for me now about going home and seeing my family again. My folks now tell me that they just don’t have a lot. My grandmother now in assisted living says she wishes she could buy for me like she used to. I tell them all not to worry about it. It really doesn’t matter.
However, it is hard for us sometimes when we get caught up in possessions. I won’t deny this truth. I like having money in the bank. When I get a paycheck and cash it, I really enjoy it. One aspect I do enjoy about my new upcoming job change is that I will be making more money. Now that isn’t the main thing, but it certainly is a very nice aspect.
Is that wrong? I don’t think it is really. Money is essential in the world today. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money. It’s when money has a hold on you that there’s a problem. If you’re rich, for instance, and you don’t give to charity but are rather a miser with what you have, then there is a problem.
I have a friend who is actually wealthy and she will tell me that she bought a bunch of pizzas just because the money will go to cancer research and then say “You and your roommate are welcome to any of it you want. Just come over and get it.” This friend went all out for me on my birthday last year and I was most appreciative.
This is one reason I like books so much. You don’t really collect books for the sake of the books. You collect books for the information that is in them. It’s a want of something greater than you. It’s a thirst for truth. Truth is one of the great transcendentals, the other two being goodness and beauty. Books are a key to that.
For some people, I realize the battle with possessions though will be much harder. There’s no wrong in having stuff. There’s a wrong in stuff having you. If you had to, could you part with a lot of the things you have? Where does your happiness really lie? Does it lie in the things you have or does it lie in the truth of God?
I had a friend back in my hometown who he and I would go out to a bookstore regularly. He’s spend Most of his money if not all on stuff that he just HAD TO HAVE! Meanwhile, I’d see maybe one or two books and I’d buy them and that’d be it for me. I had a budget. Inevitably, he’d call me a couple of days later and say he was bored. Meanwhile, I was renting my own place and not having as much free money to spend and having the time of my life.
There’s something joyful on living on little.
Jesus tells us that our treasure is to be in Heaven. He’s not against having things on Earth. We’re just to remember that this isn’t our eternal resting place. Build up treasures which would include virtuous living and the quest for truth.
Keep that in mind this Christmas. The gifts are nice and I try to give generously as well, but ultimately, let’s remember this Christmas that it’s all about the one gift that God gave to us.