Friday, December 30, 2005

Consumer Sabbath?

The constant rain is finally starting to bring us down here. We've tried to make the most of all our indoor time together, but enough is enough. E is taking it the worst today. I think he's feeling a bit cheated out of his vacation from school--and feeling the end of it starting to press at the same time. I'm trying to bolster him up, while not attempting to talk him out of his mood. It's hard for me to let him be sad. But I'm trying.

I've planned to write my sermon today, but nothing yet. That's partly why I'm finally writing here. Just trying to get the juices flowing. I have lots of ideas. Just how to tie them down? Before I started my PhD work, I was used to preaching semi-regularly. At my own church or as a guest at other places. Now, out of the rhythm, (and into an academic one), the words come a little more slowly. I think, like here, I just need to begin.

So I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but I am considering one lately. It's inspired from an article in The Other Side some years ago. The idea is to take a year-long sabbath from purchasing anything for our home.

Sue Klassen, the writer of "Our Sabbath Year" was likewise inspired by an earlier article in The Other Side written by Rabbi Arthur Waskow called "Proclaim Jubilee." Arthur wrote:
What if we spent a year just not acquiring anything that's newer, better, faster, easier, prettier, more sophisticated, longer lasting, better designed, or--that most empty improvement--'the latest'?
I have wondered lately just how much time I consume by thinking about how to try and make things a bit better around here. It's never anything extravagant, really. But over the course of the year it adds up. And what I don't end up buying (the coffee table and rug I've imagined us needing for six months now) just uses up mental (and spiritual) energy in variously either indulging or resisting the desire.

If I knew that I was taking a sabbath from these purchases, I think I could lay some of that to rest. Stem the addiction to consumerism that afflicts me despite my desire to be free of it.

Alright, I think I'll see if I can play with E for awhile. Then turn to the sermon in a bit. It will be written in time. Of that I can be sure.


photo © Severin Koller for CC:Attribution


see-through faith said...

what an interesting thing to consider.

We aren't very consumer oriented here in Finland I think. We replace stuff when it breaks or wears thin. Almost all our curtains were hung in someone else's home before ours lol some really fit and look great too :)

This year I'd like to enjoy gardening - spend time with God there. But usually I dont do this. Wonder why?

JWD said...

Yes, gardening is on my Someday List. I need a good gardening mentor first, though. Otherwise I'm sure I'd let the weeds grow and I'd pull the plants!

I hate to admit the extent to which I am bound to consumerism here. Although, I don't think I buy things frivolously. Even so. I would like to be more free of it.

JWD said...

Oh, I just want to add--I think consumerism is a Sin that especially plagues North America. According to this website, "the USA alone with only 6% of the world's population consumes 30% of its resources."