Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

In honor of Black Friday, here is something from the Advent Conspiracy website.
Thank you, Jeanne.

by Jeanne McKinley

About a year ago I woke up to a strange hum. I was disoriented by it at first, didn't even know what the sound was, so I got up, looked out the window and saw a steady line of cars driving down the hill.
What in the world?
Are they evacuating the neighborhood and nobody told us?
I looked at the clock, it was 4:45am, then it hit me -- it was the day after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday.
I remember being blown away by the fact that my entire neighborhood was on their way to be the first ones out for the store buster prices, free socks or scarves or whatever other item the store would be dangling to bring us in, and then I had a moment of panic,
"Oh no, I'm going to miss it!"
I was missing the sales that would help me save money on Christmas presents!!
And then I remembered...
I had done that before, joined in the throng, jumped in the fray of craziness at 5am, I thought I had been missing something by not being a part of the American ritual of day after Thanksgiving sales. I realized, as I was standing in a line that wrapped around to the middle of the store that I had fallen for it, the idea that I needed to buy these socks at a great discount and that my family would be really excited about these fleece coats that were the "hottest thing" -- though I wasn't saving money because I had grabbed about 7 other things not on my list, but that I just Had to have.

I've been thinking about resistance today, the idea that this is my chance, as the holiday shopping season heats up, to resist. It's not easy. Resistance is a word that you feel, as I choose to not buy fun looking, sparkly junk that will put a momentary gleam in my children's eyes or make my house look pretty, I can feel that at times. As I choose to create things that will be meaningful and relational but will take effort and my time and frustration when it's not looking like I wanted it to, I feel that.

Here's something else -- I admit it -- maybe it's a girl thing but I love to shop. I love to spend money and buy things and I love to buy other people things and there's more -- I love to find the Perfect gift for someone, the thing they will absolutely LOVE. I love that feeling of "AH HA!" this is IT, and I'm going to be awarded the giver of the year award because I found THE present that will bring the most joy and happiness to that person, the gift that shows I know them best and have found the thing that resonates with them perfectly. The gift that they'll tell their friends about, "Jeanne got me that!"

Not pretty is it?

I can justify that feeling with the fact that I want to show my loved ones how much I love them by finding that perfect present but there's something I'm getting out of it as well, strokes, appreciation, people pleased with me.

No, not real pretty.

These are some things that God is redeeming in my heart this year as I refocus and rethink Jesus' birthday. The way I'm going to buy gifts and the way I'm going to give gifts. To give of myself as Christ gave to me. To hold my friends' and family's faces in my hands, look deep into their eyes and tell them how much I love them. And most of all to worship Christ in a beautiful, uncluttered way and to be free to love Him with all of me.

It's different, it's transformational and it feels really good.

Friday when I wake up to the hum of traffic, I'm going to roll over, pull the blankets tighter and cuddle with my hubby and I'm going to resist.

Resistance doesn't sound so bad after all does it?