I stumbled across some statistics today that stopped me dead in my tracks. I just couldn't believe that what I was reading could be true. Would you believe that Americans spend billions of dollars every year on the following?
$3 billion on bottled water
$4 billion on cosmetics
$7 billion on sporting events
$11 billion on coffee
$13 billion on pets
$13 billion on diet programs
$17 billion on golfing and boating
$20 billion on soft drinks
$21 billion on cable t.v.
$76 billion on home renovations
$105 billion on eating out
I think that these numbers corroborate something that has been on my mind alot lately. We seem to be living in a time in which we feel entitled to a life of comfort, one in which our every need and desire be fulfilled. We rapidly consume, collect and display. Yet, no matter how many times we repeat this gluttonous dance we still struggle with discontentment. If anything, we discover that when we choose to engage in this particular quest of fulfillment, we are left feeling empty, unsatisfied, exhausted and broke. The truth is that the monster inside cannot be satisfied.
Not only are we drowning in materialism, the technological capacity of our day has enabled us to be the most informed group of people to have ever graced this earth. I have to wonder if it isn't this continual barrage of excessive information that has contributed to the apathy of our souls. We see the image on the screen of the poor, naked and oppressed. We hear the cries of children that are hungry and cold and we are conditioned to change the channel, to immediately put a stop to that feeling that begins to creep into our soul. We seem to have forgotten, but that feeling is empathy. The knowledge of this makes me want to scream! Please do not think that I am pointing the finger or placing blame on anyone else - I AM GUILTY!! I struggle daily with discontentment and selfishness. On too many occasions to count, I have looked the other way when I see someone in need. I have no reasonable explanation for my actions. Sadly, I know that this life is short and that at the end of it I will stand before a Sovereign Lord and give an account of how I used the time on earth that He gave me. It grieves me to admit that when that day comes my head will hang in shame with the knowledge that I wasted so much precious time consumed with the "pursuit of me".
Good and Gracious Lord, please keep me from a heart that is hardened to the needs of your children. I confess that I am too often sedated by the empty comforts and distractions of this world, rendering me blind and apathetic to the plight of those less fortunate than myself. Please forgive me for the countless times that I have chosen to ignore the needs of those that you have put in in my path. May I continually be reminded of your mercy and faithfulness extended innumerable times to me. And might the knowledge of this, compel me to do what I can for those in need, and then do more......
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." ~Luke 12:48
In His Grip,