Lots of Somethings Are Nothings

I remember in my youth hearing about the fruits of the Spirit: love, mercy, peace, long-suffering, patience, kindness—was it a TV pastor talking, a pamphlet I read and shuddered? So not cool, especially the old fashioned religious symbols and pictures. These seemed like things for old people—what did they have to do with me?

The world offers excitement, money, incredible really cool stuff, the gratification of all our desires, and power. And technology—could it be any more of a temptation? In the old days, people bought things to last. Now we plan our purchases of the latest phones, computers, TVs, MP3 players and all the other gadgets at the whisper of their coming.

But, think about it. It’s fake satisfaction. Not that we don’t need things to live—we are here in bodies that need shelter, food, transportation, education, work—we just don’t need to be spellbound, to worship the stuff of our lives. It’s the living that counts, the opportunities to grow, to become better people, to connect with others and make a difference in their lives.

It’s not the stuff that counts. If it was the stuff, we wouldn’t want to replace it all so quickly. We live like it’s Christmas morning every day. Whoa! Did you see this? Look at what it does! Then we toss the previously much-desired item over our shoulder and run to the store to replace it. We think it’s the stuff–until we own it. We can own the biggest house in the world with the latest of everything, but if we have no love, no significant others to share it with, ownership brings an empty, hollow feeling.

We were not made for empty, or hollow or cold. We are meant for love, connection, warmth, compassion. Someday, we’ll wake up.

Related Post: What Isn’t Important

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4 thoughts on “Lots of Somethings Are Nothings

  1. I’ve heard that in many third world countries children have been observed being very happy, laughing, smiling and playing while they live in huts and play with sticks and stones. It seems to change when T.V. shows them luxuries we consider necessities. But, definitley the bottom line is having a support system, having loving family and friends – especially, having a heart filled with love which doesn’t need a big house filled with things.

    • It’s all about love and relationship, isn’t it, Anita? Like Sharie from Sending Joy says, we can choose Love over stuff at any point. Isn’t that great? Love you, Pam

  2. I agree with Anita – and in fact in courses on world politics when we go into the problems of third world poverty and development, I make a point to have sections which show families and communities celebrating, laughing, and enjoying life. I warn students that our bias is to think that if they don’t have stuff they must be miserable. And, of course, those in famine and disease have misery. But for most people, they find happiness with connections, nature, and music. One wonders if perhaps our material wealth is actually a kind of spiritual poverty. (If you go to my blog, last summer I had a number of entries on this, “The Core/Void,” “Material Saturation,” and “Spiritual Dehydration.” They’re the first three listed under my ‘faith and philosophy’ page: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/faith-and-philosophy/

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