Saturday, November 24, 2012

Commercialism and Connection - A potpourri of thoughts

The more I see of commercialism, the more I hate it.

Yes, I like stuff just as much as the next person. But I keep getting annoyed with stuff. Like my last computer hard drive disc. It stopped working. I lost all my pictures, music, and other files. It was depressing.

I think of photography. I love photography. I like looking at pictures. I want a decent camera (like a DSLR) just so I could contribute to the plethora of photographs that are out there. Because people don't take the time to stop and enjoy the sights of what is around them every day. But then I think of heaven. We won't have photography in heaven. We won't need photography in heaven. Because we will be worshiping the Creator of all the beautiful things we see in this world. That will be all that will matter. Worshiping the Creator.

I look at days like today. Black Friday. The "kickoff" of the so-called "Christmas Season". People take one day to be thankful on Thanksgiving, and turn around the next day and practice a ridiculous display of greed, on what is supposed to be the season in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Never mind the fact that it's a Catholic holiday (I am a non-denominational Bible-believing Christian,) and I do not celebrate the Catholic Mass remembering Christ's birth, but I do think that His birth is obviously worth remembering (and I dislike those who want to take Christ out of Christmas). Christmas is also not in the correct season... since Jesus was likely not born in the winter time. Christmas trees stem from a pagan ritual to celebrate the winter solstice, so should we as Christians really be decorating them?

How easily we lose sight of what is important in this season: Celebrating Jesus Christ and the fact that He came to earth, to live and grow up here like we do, yet without sin, so that He could take the burden of our sins and die in our place. Spending time with family and friends - being face to face with those we love... not going out and buying more crap that can't love us back.

Community and belonging are things that have been on my heart for a long time. Something that I don't see many churches *get* even though they may talk about it. So to see people, both Christians and non-Christians, so disconnected from others that they would trample those in front of them just to get some piece of metal/plastic, it's heartbreaking.

One of my more recent thoughts has been "Connect In Person". If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see me hashtag it sometimes, #ConnectInPerson. As much as I enjoy technology and social media, it can be a detriment to your social life. I would much rather spend time with people than online just browsing random sites and checking on what other people are doing. I don't get to spend a lot of time with family or friends because of my schedule. I enjoy when I can spend time with people. I think we focus too much on our social scores online, Facebook stalking each other, following people just to get more followers. Lately the unsubscribe button in e-mails has been my friend, when it works. I get too many stock e-mails, not enough personal ones. I see too much clutter in my Twitter feed. There are too many obnoxious posts on Facebook. So at the risk of losing followers, I am un-following several people and products, just to clean up my feeds.

Why do they call it a feed? What are we feeding ourselves? These social media platforms don't force us to follow these people or pages. What are we posting? Are we lifting up others with what we say? Or are we constantly tearing down everyone, including ourselves?

That is about the end of my thoughts for this evening. I'll leave you with a quote that has been on my mind recently. Mostly as I reflect on the craziness of this year. I could give a recap, but that should be another post in and of itself, and I don't know if I feel like doing that. But it's on my mind, and it also relates to general connectedness. Because I would not be as connected with my church family now if it wasn't for the events of the last year with my job, moving, the women's retreat, spiritual growth, and other happenings throughout the year.

We had some random things happen to us; some good, some bad, some you can’t explain, some you don’t want to, but one thing we did learn for sure…when God throws a curveball…don’t duck…you just might miss something.” 

      Will --- Extreme Days

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