One can't deny that we live in a consumer driven society. Today I was browsing through the "self-sustainable" section in barnes & noble, picked out a few books i thought looked interesting (i totally judge books by their cover by the way), and plopped down in one of those comfy chairs to take a little peek. In a book called "planet home", the author laid out 7 principles for conscious living (which i'll post at the end). The 3rd one down, "acquire less stuff", really caught my attention. One, because just yesterday we were talking about simplifying and two... because of what came next.
Take it for what it's worth to you, but He went on to say... "prior to WWII the U.S. was a culture of reuse, recycle, and restraint. But after the war, huge factories suddenly had nothing to make. Our gov't created a national strategy and built our whole economy around consumerism. If the stuff we buy is global, not local, there is an elaborate system needed to extract, process, and transport". Not only this, but there is so much of an issue with child labor, unfair wages, harsh conditions, and other types of slavery. If something is cheap, someone paid the price for it. It's so important for us to choose quality over quantity these days, especially if the value and worth of someone's life is at stake... or the resources of the God's beautiful world. We must acquire less, give away more, and seek relationships and community instead. Of course we all have that choice to make, and we can choose to keep up with the Jones's. But then our life becomes empty, unfulfilled, and expensive for many.
Exercise (p90): We want results we can see. Don't we? If I don't see that those people on the video look like i want to look, i wouldn't do it. It's easier for me to exercise and eat healthy because i know how it's helping my body, even if i don't see it immediately on the outside. My dad on the other hand needs more evidence than i do. Since i've started combining P90x and the Vi-protein shake... i'm already starting to notice a difference in my body and it's only been 5 days!!! If you'd like to try doing that at any point please let me know!!! I want to help everyone feel their best!
Then i started thinking about being a missionary. Unfortunately, for years we've had this silent expectation hanging over our heads to bring home stories of hundreds saved, thousands healed, and many rescued. Like our consumer driven culture we live in, we want to SEE results and see them now before we are willing to "invest" in it. But what if just being there and loving on these people IS doing something inside that we can't see immediately (just like healthy food and exercise)?? What if we have a part in the planting, or the watering... just simply being there because God called us to go?? Let's take it a step even further.... what if you KNEW that no one would be saved or healed or rescued on a mission, would you still go?? Might be hard to answer that question, but it will send you down an inquisitive path that will always lead you to His arms.
A compelling story comes to mind of when I was in northern India a few years back. My ywam team was staying in a little remote village with a tiny church. Not many knew who Jesus even was. I found this cute old lady that would come every day who was blind. One night as we were worshiping, I saw her sitting in the back and was quickly drawn to her. I sat by her for the next few hours holding her hand, singing, and praying for her. She held on with such a tight grip. More than anything i wanted to see this woman healed of her blindness, but i felt God softly say, "I am doing something in her heart right now that you do not see, what I'm doing inside is so much greater than what i could easily do on the outside". With tears streaming down my cheeks that she would never see, I knew without a doubt there was no where in the world i was supposed to be than right then right there with this woman.
B90: (Genesis 50- Exodus 12:51) Now, imagine what it would've been like for Moses. Geez. I mean, this man was capital O L D yet he was fed up with the injustice of slavery and took action hand in hand with God! No one can EVER say they are too old to do something in my presence... I might give them a friendly scold and suggest to read Exodus one more time :) Haha. But seriously, God told Him He was going to harden Pharaoh's heart and He STILL kept obeying the Lord. Talk about trust! Speaking of not seeing results, can you imagine all that wandering and wondering without seeing the promises fulfilled??? Wow. I surely have absolutely no room ever to complain.
What if we started "investing" in what God is doing around the world without an agenda or a big plan or expectations of any kind. We just supported, loved, served, and spoke truth with the character of God wherever we found ourselves or traveled to. What if we lived with an awareness of the slavery in the world (that we can't see), and decided to do something about it... because He says so. God loves ALL the people in the world... not just Americans, and not just Christians. What if we loved like that? What if we lived like that?
The 7 Interconnected Principles of Conscious Living By:Jeffery Hollendel
1- Think Holistically
2- Live by the Precautionary Principle (taking other people's lives into account)
3- Acquire less stuff
4- Think long term, not short term
5- Think "we", not "me"
6- Don't confuse "less bad" with "good"
7- Get active
* This is one man's research and opinion... I challenge you to make your own. I agree with some of those points but I believe God is the center of it all. How will you start living differently?