Our Contradictory Lives!

Sometimes, I find it hard to explain our North American culture!

I sat at my desk the other day writing bills for items I wished we did not own and paying for services I am certain we could do without. We invest critical resources in support of values and priorities that we readily confess to be questionable at best. At the same time we ignore things we know will bear the real fruit of life.

Here's a partial list:

We subscribe to magazines we do not read, pay for TV channels we do not care to watch, buy new clothes we seldom wear, clip coupons we never use, own scores of cookbooks that gather dust, and purchase food we allow to rot.

We pay athletes obscene salaries to play games we turn off in disgust; we purchase cars with horsepower we are not allowed to use, buy off-road vehicles we only drive on the street, and spend money we do not have to buy goods we do not need.

We pay for advice we do not take, purchase running shoes we won't scuff, eat cake in our jogging suits, buy diets we will not follow, and visit doctors we ignore.

As if the above contradictions are not enough, we give birth to children we are too busy to raise, send them to schools we do not support, vote for initiatives we are unwilling to pay for, develop medical systems only to turn people away, pledge allegiance to a flag we seldom wave, point to a constitution we will not read, send our soldiers to die for rights we fail to respect, and elect leaders we do not honor.

We also espouse beliefs we won't act upon, pray prayers we do not want answered, build churches we seldom attend, hire preachers we rarely listen to, swear on Bibles we fail to study, and worship a God we will not follow. We choose a Savior, yet we shun his way.

I believe that most of us understand the irony, and the contradictory nature of so much we pursue. Yet, like moths that continue to fly into the light, we are pulled again and again by the sheer gravitational enormity of our consumption-oriented culture into the teeth of misplaced priorities that will eventually destroy us.

I am wondering, maybe we simply need to open our eyes. Jesus put it this way: "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)

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