The zeal with which people will pursue the toy that their kid wants most for Christmas is astounding. Every year seems to have a new fad—a new massively hard-to-purchase toy. A few years ago it was “Shopkins” (tiny collectable rubber toys). When stores sold out parents flocked to eBay and spent thousands of dollars to get them. Normal retail price? Four dollars! Anyone who went to a store on Black Friday may very well have experienced the same kind of passion. And for what? I suspect in most cases those little Shopkins dolls got eaten by the dog or ended up in the trash.
What is interesting to me is trying to figure out where this fiery passion really comes from. My guess is that something in people’s lives feels empty and the goal becomes to fill that void with stuff. People are thirsty and hungry without really knowing what they are hungry for. Nothing satisfies for long, even if it was four digits on eBay. I would encourage people to take to heart these words from Isaiah: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
You might not be able to afford this year’s latest fad. But guess what? You don’t need it. What you really need you can get by the grace of God. Can you imagine the line if Walmart started handing out free Nintendo game systems? It would be crazy! God is giving out something much better than that. Why spend all your efforts on bread that isn’t really bread? Why spend your money on a drink that won’t quench your thirst? Come to God and He will give you what is good. He will give you the richest of fare, food that will make your soul thrive. And God won’t charge you a dime.
Doug Wells Camden Avenue church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV