Our lives if they are to be meaningful and productive spiritually require that we pay particular attention to the platform upon which we live out our daily lives. The lure of materialism has no doubt been with us since the beginning but in our modern technological culture, in the age of “throw-a-way” many people are transfixed by the emotional need to acquire more things supposing that the very act of accumulation will bring them satisfaction. This obsession with “things” breeds the attitude that whoever dies with more toys wins. How desperately sad and pitiful this is. This desperate push to “acquire” often gives no quarter as people ignore the legitimate needs of others in order to worship at the monetary trough.
It is this mindset that lends itself to other attitudes that today pollute the cultural landscape. Take the frequent secular approach to the sanctity of life for instance [We’ve just passed the 43rd anniversary of the infamous decision of the US Supreme Court in Roe v Wade handed down on the 22nd of January, 1973]. If it’s inconvenient, terminate it! I have a right to control my environment say many and we see the courts and many in society generally acquiescing to this philosophy in their approach to abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment.
Jesus has called us to be radical [to go to the roots] and the real root of all of this is the failure of many people to note that the roots of materialism and the evils that accompany it are firmly rooted in the determination to serve self without regard to the rights and interests of others.
This world desperately needs more people who have learned to love in the “agape” sense to begin to address the many injustices that our modern culture tolerates. That gets us back to the platform upon which we live out our lives. If we are going to avoid the false god of materialism and the evils that tag along with that platform we begin by looking at the roots that feed our own lives. Most of it has to do with attitude. For instance, do we chase money and accumulate wealth for its own sake and for our own gratification or do we view our financial resources [if God has blessed us with these] as a trust fund to be used as God directs for our own unselfish purposes as well as for the purposes of others? Do we welcome those persons of other ethnicities recognizing in them the hand print of the Creator? Above all do we recognize that we are called to love even when it is inconvenient to love and are we prepared to sacrifice and even suffer that others might live and live in dignity? We are all called to love and often that means embracing the cross we would rather not embrace.
If it’s about the “right to choose” it most definitely is about the “right to choose to love as God would have us love”. May our choices always reflect the wishes of the one who loves us beyond our wildest imaginings?