This morning as I am writing this, I’m sitting in a car service department being exposed to the noise of one of our many network morning shows. I stopped paying attention to morning shows and really most commercial television a few years ago. I just couldn’t take all of the noise. So when I find myself obliged to be within earshot I am reminded of why I stopped watching in the first place.
Every commercial I hear tries to convince me that I am lacking in some way. My car isn’t good enough, my skin isn’t moisturized enough, I have pores on my face, there is a much better phone out there for me, there is a much better phone carrier for me, I’m not smart enough or trained enough for this fast paced world and I need to go back to some for-profit school to remedy that. But the messaging is so slick that I’ve believed the lies and I crave that wholesome perfect world that they just showed me was possible.
When I stepped back from this latest dose of morning television I noticed that I felt poor. I am reminded of all of the things that I can’t get, all of the objects that I don’t have, and I am left in want. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this. Our human desire for more and more is certainly reflected in how much stuff we keep in our homes and how high our credit balances are.
So it’s no wonder that we order our lives and our communities from a place of scarcity. We are often more apt to point out what we lack rather than appreciating the real abundance with which we are surrounded. The propensity to do more, be more, have more, is so prevalent within our psyche that we don’t even realize that it is motivating our actions.
If only we had enough…we could…
People are looking for a silver bullet, a magical talisman to turn the tide and fulfill all of our deepest wants and desires as individuals and as a community. Every other message we hear in the day promises us quick fixes and easy programs to accomplish our goals. But in my experience those promises have been empty and fast fleeting.
The wisest advice that I ever received was to stop listening to the lies that we internalize about who it is that everyone else believes that we are supposed to be, and to start listening to the one who made you. Beloved child of God you have been created in God’s image, gifted through the Spirit, and blessed to be a blessing. Our work as a community of faith is first and foremost to be a place to learn how to pay attention and to trust in God. Don’t worry about what everyone else says we are supposed to do and be. Who you are in Christ is much more remarkable than what any airbrushed glossy program could ever accomplish.