Friday, November 24, 2006

Minimize Me!

It's Black Friday! Aaaaaggggghhhhhh!!! This is the day when millions of insane people (please don't take this personally) who were nestled in perfectly legitimate turkey comas and invited to participate in National Sleep In Day, willingly (WILLINGLY!) got out of bed at 3am and went shopping.

They are out there right now. They are drinking lots of coffee. Don't get in their way.

The following reflection was inspired by this secular feast day, but let it be known: I like a good deal as much as the next guy, and I too have been snared many times over by.... the BIGGIEMAN.

Lemme 'splain...

In mainstream America, we have BIG culture. I don't mean a lot of culture, I mean BIG culture. We love to maximize and biggie-size. We love those "Buy 6 get 1 free deals," even when the item is a cheese grater.

When someone says "Do you want the Behemoth Burger and Jumbo Bucket o' Fries for only .30 more?"... generally we say "sure." This is not because we need it, but I think because we can. Deep down, you see, we've been seduced by the greasy lies of the BIGGIEMAN: that cloudy and coagulated Spirit of America that whispers to our wallets that bigger is always better.

We are grande mocha gringos who are always on the look out for "upgrades" and "additions" - for the better, the new and improved. From SUVs to giant screen TVs, and now it seems, DVDs. (Yup, I saw it the other day, a new format of the already perfectly amazing disc that is even smaller, and of course, requires that we upgrade to the new DVD player to play it.)

When will it end?! When will America stop the presses? End this madness? Do we need 68 kinds of toothpaste, 259 brands of the same cereal, 2543 different types of shampoo!! Cars bigger than houses, TVs larger than billboards!!!

Never, I fear, so long as we continue to shout out our demand to "Super-Size Me!"

Enter, the Gospel.

"Agghh!" shrieks the BIGGIEMAN, "not that!"

A still, small voice whispers through the leaves of the New Testament, "He must increase, I must decrease."

"He must increase, I must decrease." "I must decrease."

I have a new battle cry for myself, as this season of sales and ceaseless shopping begins, reaching out its neon tentacles to draw me in. Try it if you like. "Minimize Me!"

In all things, make me small. In my wants, and in my needs, minimize me. In my thoughts, in my words, minimize me.

"He must increase, I must decrease."

This is the best way to create a space for the Christ Child to rest His weary head. Unclutter the heart, clear away the things. Let persons take precedence.

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