Sunday, March 07, 2004

"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." -Jesus

I turned on the TV the other day to watch a videotape. When the TV came on Oprah was on the screen with the guy who was the owner of "The restaurant" from that reality TV series. (Yeah, I saw an episode or two of it.)

Anyway, I tuned in at the time that Oprah announced everyone in the audience would be getting a set of the pots and pans that the guy was using. The pans looked nice, high quality etc. The people, however, flipped out! I could not believe how excited they were to be getting these pots and pans. They were screaming like it was the Ed Sullivan show and John, Paul, George and Ringo just took the stage.

Yesterday, I happened to catch the end of "Monster House," which I generally like and saw a woman flip out over a real big flat screen TV.

Both of these things reminded me of an experience I had 3 or 4 years ago. I went to a Christian music festival in New Hampshire with da youts. (I've never been can draw your own conclusions.) Anyway, we were in the middle of setting up camp (on the side of a mountain...long story) when Tony Campolo took the stage. Naturally, I stopped what I was doing to listen.

Tony gave a great talk which included an observation about "stuff". He talked about how much we Americans love stuff, and how much useless stuff we have. He gave a plug for Compassion International. The crowd was very receptive. He finished. As soon as he was done, one of the concert promoter guys came up next. "Hey guys, we got some stuff we're giving away" and the frenzy for t-shirts and CD's ensued from there. It was a surreal experience.

Perhaps needless to say, I have a lot of stuff. I even like my stuff. I hope I don't love it, but I'm not sure. I bought a house recently and it seems so easy to slip into a comfortable suburban lifestyle, which, I must say, can really be the enemy of my soul. I was reading Psalm 119 the other day and impressed by the Psalmist's love for God's law (not, I believe, in a Pharisaical sort of way, but in a way that leads to kingdom living and loving the things God loves.) I need God to constantly turn my heart in that direction, because I'm so easily turned to comfort, even though I know adventure and the "dangerous wonder" sort of life is much more fulfilling.


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