Monday, March 12, 2012

Settling for Cheap and Fake

Have you ever walked down an aisle of a super store and wonder with amazement why they come up with all of that junk? I know I do - in particular the useless novelty items begging for my children's attention as we roam up and down those aisles. A lot of those items are made of cheap plastic that usually only lasts a week or two because my kids have either lost interest in the novelty or because it broke. It's not just the cheap plastic items I wonder about either. I am also curious about other areas we as a society want to fill with cheap, shiny things. It's the quick, highly processed food, the awful reality shows (which I admit, I do watch), the politician's soundbite, the hero-worship of celebrities and so on. 

In my opinion, we are losing grasp of what is real and genuine. I think we do this to hide the ugliness of life. A lot of us are born with the innate desire to be perfect and to live the perfect life, but then life happens and suddenly what is reality does not fit into our paradigm of what life is. We search for quick fixes to make us feel better, but sadly those quick fixes are temporary. Before you know it, we are in a vicious cycle of cheap fixes. 

Life has its ugly moments. James 1:1-3 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..."(NIV; emphasis mine). Did you notice the word "whenever"? He didn't say "if," he said "whenever" which pretty much guarantees that life will get messy. What we need to do, particularly during those times, is to keep our focus on what is real and that is Jesus. He had ugly moments as well (the loss of Joseph, the beheading of his cousin, John the Baptist, His own trial and death). He kept His focus on what was real and what His mission was for His life. He communed with His Father, comforted His friends (Mary and Martha after Lazarus' death), and even healed the man arresting Him. He also confronted the Pharisees and their ways. One of His charges against the hypocrites was their attempt at fasting - basically walking around looking hungry, wanting adulation for their "pious" ways. They were being fake. They took the attention off of the Lord and placed it upon themselves. That is the danger of settling for the cheap and fake. We fill those ugly moments with what "we" think is nice instead of embracing the complex beauty of this experience the Lord has called us to. I know - I have done the same thing during an ugly moment in my life. I tried to fill those voids with cheap replacements, only to be disappointed time and again. The only One who could fill that void was God. Once I turned back to Him, I realized my ugly moment, though painful, brought out His glory and His Beauty.

Don't settle for the cheap and fake. Nothing is better than the real hope, the real love, and the real grace the Lord extends to His children. 

1 comment:

Melyssa said...

Nicely composed my friend. Hubby and I have many discussion like this one. It is amazing how people over look simplicity in life. Our DIY attitude has been exchanged for fancy looking, cheaply made things. We have become a nation of consumers... the US hardly makes anything anymore. As you said, I think that is a reflection of something much bigger within ourselves that is missing or broken.

Thanks for the post and good to hear from you again!