Apparently yesterday was “Giving Tuesday.” I got many emails from wonderful organizations and causes encouraging me to donate. From what I can gather, Giving Tuesday has now become part of the Thanksgiving aftermath: Black Friday shopping at malls and big box stores, Local Saturday shopping at local one of a kind stores, Cyber Monday shopping on line, and finally Giving Tuesday. It’s a kind of wave. Only, I think the wave is going backwards.
On Thursday, we eat a feast and express our thanks. And what should come after thanks? Giving! Thanks and giving go together. We are grateful so we share. We celebrate our bounty so we are generous. We remember what we care about so we offer our support. It’s a perfect link.
Instead, after three days of shopping, with much gratuitous spending, there’s Giving Tuesday. An afterthought to salve a remorseful conscience? And how generous are people really likely to be after they have just spent three days running up their credit cards?
Advent shines the light on our culturally ingrained consumerism and materialism which in addition to rotting our souls is ruining our planet.
A professor studying environmental issues in China went to one of the largest malls there. There was a waterfront beach inside the mall! It was over the top. He talked with shoppers randomly. One young woman told him, “They have everything you could want and even things you never realized you wanted.” Another young shopper said, “We all want the same thing – a beautiful life.” The implication was that this was to be found at the mall. While the professor was dismayed at the responses, he quickly realized that he would probably hear much the same thing if he spoke with shoppers at a fancy mall in the US.
Our faith teaches us that a beautiful life comes from giving everyday, not just the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. And it comes from giving of ourselves and our core resources, not just our leftovers. Everyday. All day.
This would be a good time to put a donation in that container for The Micah Center and then go on from there!
Prayer: In these dark days, may I trust that the light of Christ still shines. Amen.
Consider for your journal, what have you been given today? What have you given? Where do you see light or darkness in this?