Monday, July 16, 2012
Monday Musings: Moderation to Excess
I don't know who said it, but it seems to be true: "What one generation does in moderation, the next does in excess." I was pondering this thought tonight, having spent most of my day at the largest Mall in our state. We are so excessive in almost every facet of life!
Take our clothing, for one. One hundred years ago a woman would have a few dresses for daily use and one good one for Sunday. When these would wear out, she would make more for herself. I look at my closet and I've got several sets of every kind of clothing you can think of and yet, I'm still saying, "Oh, I need more shirts." We have an abundance of cloths and oodles of stores to choose from which to buy them.
Take our food. One hundred years ago, they had the basic necessities and would eat their meat, vegetable and potato/bread for dinner. Now go to a grocery store. You have endless choices in cuisine and you can get it already made and pop it in the oven or purchase each individual ingredient and make it from scratch. If we have the same type of meal more than once a week we complain (unless, of course it's our favorite). We could, if we so desired, have a different meal each day for 365 days!
Take our activities. Many people start their day at 6am and don't stop until they hit the sack at 10pm, going from aerobics to daycare to work to the grocery store to Bible study to home for dinner or even out to dinner, perhaps dropping several offspring at individual activities between then! Phew! We have opportunity to get places more quickly and therefore end up filling our days with the multiple options we have in entertainment and past times. One hundred years ago it was work, eat with family, sleep and do it all again the next day with an occasional ball thrown in every once and awhile.
Think about the internet, entertainment, hobbies, material possessions, job options, travel, not to mention addictions and we see my generation- Generation ME- taking everything to the max. What's it all for?
This may seem like a negative approach. Trust me, I'm an avid optimist. But it's worthwhile to stand back and think about all of this every once and awhile. I'm not a minimalist and in no way do I think we should give up all of our possessions, spend all of our time eating rice and beans while clothed in one of our three outfits just sitting around at home. But I do think it's important to examine our motives and our life. After all, the Word does say, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:21; Luke12:34)
So my questions for you to muse on today are: What observations have you made in your own life of excess? Which of these things are distracting your heart from your true heavenly treasure?
I'd enjoy hearing others' observations about excess that I haven't covered in our culture.