We're entering a time of year that gives me angst. It's "the holidays." My dad calls it the National Eat-a-Thon and says it lasts from Thanksgiving to New Years. But eating isn't what gives me angst (although putting on the extra weight is getting much easier as I get older and harder to take off once it's there).
What gives me angst is the distortion of priorities that goes along with our consumerist culture. Last year, I blogged about the Buy Nothing Christmas and Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping (check it out here).
This year, we are facing a serious economic crisis caused by the false god (small "g") of consumerism. We have depended upon consumer spending (and wastefulness) to drive our economy since we shifted from an agrarian focus to an industrial one just over 100 years ago. But consumerism has failed us and now I believe we are in a place where our economy (and the world's for that matter) can no longer be sustained by shopping. I don't know what will replace consumerism, but I hope for something more holistic.
I was sent this video by friend today:
If this doesn't put it all in perspective, I don't know what does. Even in our current situation, we still live in one of the wealthiest places on earth. We have poor with us, but remember that if you have a job, access to transportation, access to health care, housing, food and clothing, you are wealthy in comparison with most other people in the world. That's right ... you are wealthy. No, not super wealthy like Bill Gates (super wealthy being a relatively recent historical phenomenon), but you are part of the "ordinary wealthy."
As Christians, I think we need to bury the god of consumerism and heed the call of the Advent Conspiracy to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all.