I want, I want, I want.
This is the subconscious mantra of the consumerist culture. I want the nicest house, I want the biggest TV, I want access to all the best shows and movies, I want the nicest clothes, the nicest car, the best furniture, kitchen items and yard, I want many good friends and to be invited to all the popular events… I want, I want, I want.
Don’t get me wrong, wanting these things isn’t wrong, nor is having them. What is wrong is putting them above all else –making “things,” “respect,” or “popularity” the god of our life.
True freedom is the absence of all slavery, both obvious and subtle forms. When Moses freed the Israelites from Egypt, an obvious form of slavery had been overcome. This freedom is symbolic of the freedom we gain when we acknowledge Jesus as God and live as though He is the King of our life. Then we start to realize the subtle forms of slavery that often cause suffering and anxiety in our lives and that of others. Our will begins to become aligned with His will, we continue to experience His mercy and grace, we learn to love Him more and others as ourselves. This is the only solution to a consumerist culture, a culture of death that treats human life as an inconvenience, aborted and thrown in a dumpster or flushed down a toilet when standing in the way of our wants. Around 4000 children are aborted in America every day. God have mercy on us.
Are those who sacrifice a family in favor of a career, possibly neglecting a healthy attitude towards sex and marriage, working incessantly so that they may have the nicest house and car, truly living in freedom and with joy? Are the compromises they make along the way really worth it? Are those addicted to pornography truly free? How about those addicted to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or heroin?
If there is a Supreme Being who will weigh the actions of our life someday, rewarding us in accordance with it, will those in bondage obtain the same reward as those who are not? Will their works of goodness measure the same? If not, could they successfully convince Him that their actions were out of their own control? Who can help someone who doesn’t realize their suffering from an addiction or want to change? Our Lord once said that only by fasting and prayer can freedom from some demons occur.
What causes apathy towards the freedom we gain when we love Jesus and His Bride first and foremost? Is it a lack of knowledge? If so, what prevents us from learning more? What prevents us from sharing our knowledge of Him, and the good things He has done in our life, with others?
What causes apathy towards regular participation in the activities of His Church? Is it pride or a sense of embarrassment from going to Church, possibly concerns over what others might think? What stops us from putting a bumper sticker on our car that shares the news about a local Catholic or Christian radio station, church or pro-life candidate? Is our car so nice that the sticker might damage the paint or embarrass us at work?
Can I be right with God if I love Him but do not practice loving those around me? If someone around me is living in sin and I don’t gently inform or correct them, believing that they’re on their way to meet the Supreme Being, do I really love them? If I do not participate in civic activities that help to create a culture of life, do I love my neighbor?
Can the extravagance of our food make us lazy and indifferent? If so, perhaps fasting would help us. Having you thought about joining in a Fast for Life? (http://lifeissacred.net/Fasting.html)
When I have met my needs and work towards my wants, do I too easily forget that others are lacking in their spiritual and physical needs, that they might be caught up in addictions or live under governments that don’t respect freedom of religion or the press?
If I could help these who are in need, what would I do today and why might that be a good first step?