I'm in Houston right now, and Saturday night I got to speak to the young adults' small group for my friend Jenice's church. Since it was a Bible study format, I shared a bit about Lahash and my travels, then we went through Luke 18:18-30, the story commonly called The Rich Young Ruler.
This story has been a major source of conviction in my life in recent years, especially as I am convicted about my own addiction to consumerism and materialism. At the end of my third trip to Africa I was sitting in the Nairobi airport by myself. I'd been dropped off early because the traffic that time of day was hellish, so I was there for about three hours before my flight left, and I was going crazy. The problem was that I didn't have any money. I wasn't thirsty or hungry or bored, but I needed my consumer fix and I couldn't get a hit because I literally had no money. I seriously contemplated finding another American and hitting them up for the equivalent of a dollar to buy a bottle of water or a pack of M&Ms or a crappy postcard, anything, just so I was spending money! (Fortunately, by the grace of God, I suppressed the urge to make an utter fool of myself by asking a stranger for money I didn't need.)
This current economic crisis has highlighted to me how much I and my generation have this mentality of "I want it, I deserve to have it". Many of us have obscene consumer debt because of this mindset, and are still unsatisfied. The witty, clever folks over at Burnside Writer's Collective blog have been chatting about this a bit, and one of them posted the following video which I found both hilarious and damning.
Actually I can't figure out how to post the video here, so you'll have to link over to their site to watch it, but please do. You'll laugh out loud.