What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

13 March 2011

The Trouble with Reading

Books. I read them, and they get inside my brain, and then I have to spend days (weeks, months... whatever) mulling them over and either accepting the information and then adjusting my life accordingly, or rejecting it and living with the implications. If only my brain came pre-printed with all needed information.

And don't tell me that it did. If that's the case, why have I spent so many years learning things?

I've finished reading The Story of Stuff (which, while enlightening, is pretty depressing), and there's one bit in particular that has stuck with me. Ms. Leonard spends the entire book tracing our possessions from beginning to end-- getting the materials, putting them together, delivery, advertising, etc.-- and then mentions that after a speaking engagement, or after someone watches her YouTube video (and on your own head be it if you read the comments!), or whatever, she is inevitably asked, "Ok, so what should I buy?" And so Ms. Leonard mentions that "Our consumer self is so overdeveloped that is has drowned out all our other identities."

Yikes. I don't necessarily agree with every word in the book. Nor do I think that it's meant to be a "balanced" perspective; you don't hear what the other side has to say (duh; it's her book! This is what she has spent her life working on!). But her good points are thick and fast, including this one. It was one of those punched-in-the-face kind of moments when I read this sentence, because I had spent most of the book up until then swearing to change my buying habits drastically. Obviously, I couldn't say that she is wrong about my consumer self (even I who consider myself to be a "light" consumer!).

Being as it's Sunday and all, this point has even more effect on me today. I want God to be the centre of my life, but is he? I've been reading Living on a Dime for years, and those wise ladies often warn against making money an idol (by spending all one's time thinking about it, either good or bad), or about doing the same with food (by spending all one's time thinking about it--I think you get the picture). I don't want my stuff to become my next idol because I'm thinking about it all the time. Or the earth, which I believe God gave us and expects us to take care of-- the earth shouldn't be the main focus of my attention, either. Or college, or my current work in progress, or my triathlon training... The point is, I get wrapped up in one thing after another. But I want my life to be wrapped up in God, with everything else in its proper place. (Note: I don't think that it's necessary to chuck everything else out of my life altogether; I just want them all where they belong!)

If you aren't a person of faith, then I'm sure this is of no interest to you. But if you are, tell me (please)... How do you make sure to keep things in your life in their proper place, and God at the centre?


Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I think treating God like he is alive and a Person as opposed to another sector of life. Remember him throughout the day instead of compartmentalizing him.

I do think it is only natural to get swept up in the things around us, and that doesn't mean they are inherently bad, just that we need to keep a proper, healthy grip on them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's not easy, because we do live right now in this world full of material possessions and real life choices. We just have to remember God is real and when it's all over, He is all that remains.

Su said...

Both excellent points! Thank you.

Colene Murphy said...

Good stuff to work on and remember! Perspective, got to keep a Godly perspective on life not a possession perspective.

Ann said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

Su said...

@Colene: Very true.

@Ann: I like it! Kind of depressing, but enlightening nonetheless.

Faith said...

How do I keep God at the center? I think a lot of the time I don't. It's tough and I don't think I've found that balance yet, by any stretch. When you figure it out, let me know...