Black Friday

Well…today we had our own version of Black Friday…the day typically known as the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S….we did spend money, but it wasn’t on gifts. 

Our Black Friday contained us missing our train back to Holland by…1 minute. Then having to pay a nice sum to get on the next train, despite our tickets being fully exchangeable. Needless to say, we weren’t happy about this and what made matters worse was that our (hopefully still) good friend Nadine had booked tickets to ride up to Holland with us for a trip of her own. She made it. We didn’t. Not cool. 

But I’m writing to talk about two stories that I saw on the news…both put the black in Black Friday quite well.

While the allure of good deals is always a temptation for me, I just am never dedicated enough to get up early and do the ‘first one in the doors’ game. Unlike some people at a Wal Mart in the U.S. who stormed the doors at 5 a.m. to be the first ones in and subsequently trampled an employee to death and injured four others. My mouth dropped open when reading about this…I knew consumerism was bad on the wallet and the soul, but never imagined that it could be this inhumane. Usually, our consumerism harms kids and workers thousands of miles away, not underneath our feet in the good ‘ol USofA. Here’s the article.

The second story is of two people who shot and killed each other in a Toys’R’Us in Palm Desert, California. Apparently, the two men were both carrying loaded weapons on their shopping spree and both happened to be willing to kill for the toy for their special little one. I don’t mean to make light of this at all, but this is just crazy. There are so many things wrong with this and I can’t get my mind around what would possess someone to carry a loaded gun to a toy store for kids. Or what would possess someone to shoot someone over a toy (allegedly). It’s a sad twist that they killed each other…You can read about this story here

What a depressing post…I guess the way that I would apply this to myself is just to ask, “How do my self-centered pursuits add to the ‘black’ days of the world around me? How do I give way for the light within me to battle the darkness of consumerism and lust of junk that I carry? Am I living in a way that brings light minus shame to the world around me?” That’s all I got…I hope that my next post isn’t so…black.

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  1. Jeremy B on November 29, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Justin, I was one of those in line at Wal Mart at 5 am. And I can tell you that after this experience, the consumerism, materialism, greed, and selfishness completely turned me off. Today brings out the worst in human beings and it is all on display for people to see. At the Wal Mart I was at, security was called because of a fight in electtronics. Being one of the early ones in there, I went and got a cart. I got some stuff and then had to go look for a couple of things. Because it was so crowded, I set my cart out of the way. When I came back, my cart and my stuff were gone.

    Granted, none of that compares to people getting killed. However, I actually posted on my face book page this quote “Jeremy is disgusted by Black Friday. Long lines, the greed and materialism, and even fights over stuff just make you realize peoples’ focus is in the wrong place.” This is what Christmas has come to. It’s sad.

  2. Mom on November 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I decided not to “wear” black this year.

    Your Mom is one of the ones who deliberately planned other events today so I wouldn’t get involved in shopping. I love Christmas uncommericalized. Your Dad informed me tonight that he’d like us to host a staff Open House. That’ll be my Christmas. It will be an old-fashioned thing to do — sharing time and good food with others as we celebrate God’s love for us. It’ll be fun, not black at all!

  3. Christine on December 1, 2008 at 7:16 am

    i read about these events and was appalled and dismayed at the turn the ‘holiday season’ has taken in the states. it’s ludicrous to think that i might have to fear for my life or the life of my child by shopping in a toy store. i guess this is where our faith really has to ratchet up a notch and that we will not walk in fear, but in hope for a better world to come. i know, i know. i’m all rose colored glasses and pie in the sky, yet it certainly helps keep one centered on what our real purpose is…and that’s certainly not consumerism.

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