Thursday, June 01, 2006

Recent Article

'Ello all.

I recent wrote an article for our Church Newsletter, and I thought I'd get y'all's opinion. It's written primarily for youth and children, so I realize that there is the occasional senctence fragment and such, but just look past that if you could. Let me know what you think.

by Dave Colvinson

Has this ever happened to you? You’re out shopping or flipping through a magazine or surfing the internet, and suddenly you see something – it could be anything. A new this, a better that – and you want it! Your eyes get big! You heart starts to pump! And you think “Ooo! I’d like to have THAT!”

Often times when I see something that catches my eye, I start thinking about it. A lot. I think about when I can get it, where I can get it, and what I can do with it. I start making excuses about why I should get it. I just get excited about getting! And sometimes I think about the Bible and how it says that Giving is good, right? And while it’s better to give than to receive, every giver means there has to be a receiver, right? Why shouldn’t that receiver be me?

Does this sound familiar? Do you like Getting as much as I do? If so, maybe you’ve noticed the same problem that I have. It seems that no matter how great something looks in the store, no matter how much fun it is once I get it, eventually the excitement wears off. After a while my eye starts to wander to newer and better things, convinced that this time they will hold my attention. But the stuff I’ve longed for never seems to satisfy.

Where has all the getting got me? Why was I so excited to get it if I’ll just end up needing more? Sometimes I want to get stuff because I’m bored or because I feel upset about something, and the getting makes me feel better. I want to forget my troubles and I want that excitement of getting again. But if getting doesn’t satisfy, then what am I doing?

Here’s my point. I’m not suggesting that you or I should renounce all belongings. I’m not telling you to sell all you have, go live in a tree, and live off honey and locust. That may work for some people, but that’s probably a little extreme. But I am suggesting this: before you buy something/get something/obsess over something, just ask yourself “Why?” It’s a revolutionary thought! If there’s one thing our culture doesn’t teach, it’s restraint in purchasing. But think about it. Just add one step to your purchasing process, think before you get, and maybe someday you won’t need so much anymore.

I want to share a verse from Luke on the subject of getting. In this passage Jesus is talking about a man who has much in life – so much that he doesn’t know what to do with it all – and then dies. Boom. And just like that, it’s all over. “a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 15:21. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to end up like that guy! I’d like to let go of my stuff, and spend more time and energy on things that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not there yet. But hey, I’m working on it.


bre said...


i, for one, think that this is stellar, and if, say, you were publishing this in a book, i would sleep out on the sidewalk to get the first printed copy. i might even be greedy and buy all of them and then sell them for an inflated price on ebay because that's how stellar it is.

keep it up, my good friend.

westcoastloon said...

Great article DAve!! Reminds me of a shirt Jeff Naus had years ago that said "He who dies with the most stuff still dies."


JAnie & DAve said...

We have a Jesus picture on the back of the door that says "Janie and Dave, i want you to buy less and live more". Dave often taps on it as we are leaving the house and i roll my eyes and him and justify the thing i am out to buy, but i need to stop that and take my 'materialim' problem more seriously and stop spending money on stupid, meaningless stuff. Like food, and underware, diapers and tampons. I mean, who really needs these things anyway, right? Well, no those are needed, but my goodness, i will be the first to say that i buy frivilously and need to learn that having less in life makes life more fresh. At least that is what i have experienced when i have stopped to think. (hey, look at me not talking about the baby).
Thanks bre, for teaching us lots about spending less and living more organically.
Thanks to our other example-ers out there who have shown us the value in relationships (Jamie comes to mind. I lived with her for a year and she really didn't have much, and she didn't really keep it neat and tidy because she was very busy learning, playing music, singing, meeting people, laughing, entertaining us all, and well, LIVING. I always loved her lack of things. I miss her.)

Well, i have practically wrote another post. Oh well, it's my blog i am allowed to do that i think!

Sarah said...

I, too, thought this was really great. It's a message that we all need to hear really often because we live in a culture that says 'BUY IT NOW!! AND BUY SOME MORE!!'

Working in retail, I am saturated by these messages day in, day out. I'm even a deliverer of those messages, though i try to avoid convincing somebody to buy something they really don't need or want (drives head office crazy, haha). But honestly, I spend the majority of my life in a shopping mall. I buy stuff. Not as much stuff as I could... but still stuff I don't need (like my starbucks habit).

It's really bizarre how the meaning of the word 'need' is inexorably inching closer to the meaning of the word 'want'. How long until they are considered synonymous?

Lori said...

Yeah, like the people who DO yardsales every single saturday of their lives. Wow. Stuff stuff stuff. My parents had a yardsale today and it just amazed me the number of people that come. And quite a few said they'd been at our yard sale a couple years ago, so it's like they just go and shop around all the time, getting more and more. At least it's cheap stuff though... I guess some people just get more and more and more directly from the designer stores and stuff and woah, that's nuts. But yet, I'm just like that too... Always "need" more. Sigh