A current trend on social media is pictures of loved ones and the comment “My heart”
Well, for your viewing pleasure, I have a photo today that we could label…
Because right here is a classic peek into what the top of my desk and the inside of my gray matter looks like most of the time.
Ideas and scenarios and imaginary conversations fly around in a frightening whirl pretty much all the time in this blonde brain as I try to capture them on slips of paper.
And to be honest…it is kind of exhausting sometimes to be me.
I can only imagine what wear and tear it brings on my sweet husband who is often treated to one of my thought streams in mid-flow.
Because basically a lot of my conversations start out like you walked into the middle of a complicated movie and you have no pre-informed notice as to characters, plot or even the genre.
So this week, I thought it would be fun (for me, anyway) to share some of my observations gleaned from my life thus far.
As I was praying about what to share and what to hold back, I came across some topics for the week.
Some are kind of awkward maybe, but they are the things that keep surfacing so I am going to pray one more time and spin the wheel and hope my thoughts shared are acceptable to the Lord and can be used by Him today to draw each of you closer to His heart.
Yesterday I was headed home and for some crazy reason, realized I had entered the turn lane into our local mall.
As Russ pointed out later, it is possible to circle the mall on the access road and still get to our house without shopping, but I thought that maybe God wanted me to go the mall…and I certainly wanted to yield to His direction in my daily walk…so there is that.
Like so many large shopping centers, our mall has quite a few empty store fronts as well as one of the anchor stores closing soon.
I think about how the way we purchase things has changed over the course of my life, and I wonder what we are going to do with all these big old buildings if large retail companies continue to go out of business.
I think about how the malls damaged the mom and pop shops and downtowns. And the cycle of cities trying to rebuild those small businesses.
I think about how we can look at big companies and say their greed drove them to ruin.
But what about our greed?
What about us in smaller cities wanting all the choices of the big city folk?
I look at a company like Starbucks and I think it was our demand that said…I can’t walk another block for your coffee…I want a shop right outside my office.
So they built them…one right after the other while we plunked down our dollars for their brews.
We would go there when we traveled and then we wanted a Starbucks here in our town..so we got two…and if you aren’t local, you need to know…they are within a few feet of each other.
I am not kidding.
It would take more time for the barista to make a latte than it would for you to walk from one Starbucks to the other.
So we got all the stores…we got the Walmart and Menard’s and Lowe’s that put the small grocers and hardware stores and lumber yards out of business….and now we have the ability to order all the stuff even cheaper online…so these stores are struggling…and where does it end?
I look at my own overstuffed closet and my constant search for a different knick-knack to update the look of our home…and I want it to not cost much but look like it did.
It is my own greed that has pushed jobs away from this country and financed sweat shops.
Apparently our government has gotten tied up in trade to keep our shelves stocked and there is a system in place that is beyond what you and I can even comprehend.
Consequences for years of decisions – on all levels…us included…have created fall out that we are going to start feeling here in the heartland in real ways.
Because you really can’t get something for nothing.
There is always a cost.
And I don’t know how to turn this big of a ship around and I am not sure we can.
Nor am I even convinced we are meant to.
Because God’s Word is clear about how this thing goes down in the end.
All the systems that are in place are coming to a point where they will rise up against God one last time…and then … He wins.
Once and for all.
So for me, I live in the struggle of knowing what I am capable of when it comes to greed.
I don’t get it right all the time, but I know God put me where I am in this time to use the resources He has given me to serve Him.
My purchase at the local shop, whether it is at the mall or down on Merchant Street, is providing income for someone here in town.
My purchases from a company that provides something I can not get here, yet need…it too provides income.
And yes…the people at the top are getting rich while many, many are just barely getting by…if that…and when I am made aware of injustice, I need to act by doing without that item.
By recognizing, as just one person in the mix of all the “systems” of this economy, that all that I have belongs to God and is to be used to advance His Kingdom…that is the place to start.
Honestly addressing the motives behind my expenditures is another way I can bring our finances under God’s authority.
Prayerfully seeking direction for the dollars we save and spend and give…this is the way we honor God..and that is really the only thing in the economy I do have control over.
It’s easier to spot the corporate greed than to face it in myself. But God wants me to look deep in my own heart and wallet and make the changes there first…
We are blessed to bless.