I Consume

3 05 2010

In the marketplace, people are known as “consumers”. I haven’t given that term much thought before, but now that I am looking at it, it is not a complement. A consumer, in the plant and animal kingdom, basically preys on others and devours them. Similarly, the human species purchases,  devours and discards.

I would like to be known for something; not particularly as a consumer (“Here lies Teresa. She was a consumer”).

The reason I am thinking about this today is because I am reflecting on Proverbs 1:19 (going to be reading Proverbs for a few months):

“Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money it robs them of life.”

Sometimes you look at a word and don’t immediately identify with it. I don’t think of myself as particularly greedy. But I know there is something in there that is about me so I am taking a step back and looking at it. Maybe I am not drooling with greed, but I am a consumer. I make purchases, and not just to keep the family alive.

If it is within my ability I make purchases and devour them or use them for a time and discard them. How much of that is driven by the need to survive or simply because it is “shiny” to me, something that catches my eye and stirs my imagination and feeds my….greed.

Hm; greed: the selfish desire for food, money, or possessions over and above one’s needs. There it is. I am sitting in Proverbs 1:19.

A lot of rationalizing will happen right at this point but I can tell, I can tell that greed robs one of life. I don’t want to think about “consumer goods” but I do. Some of it is really cool, and innovative and interesting to me. Some of it is even useful. But some of it is stupid.

Some things I have consumed have been a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste…just think about the word “waste”. Waste means I had something and then one day it became a left-0ver, rejected and thrown to the side. It used up my time for a while, and now it is completely meaningless to me. That sounds like I got robbed. Robbed of energy, finances, and yeah…a little piece of my life.

Will my appetite ever be satisfied? By hungering after “more” or, on the flip side, being consumed by what I already have and protecting it as if my life depends on it, that is life-stealing as well! I don’t even realize how much of my life circles around consuming, rather than living lightly on the earth.

There are so many thieves in life. How much has been taken from me because I allowed myself to become consumed? Consumed instead of being nourished by hand of Christ?

We consume, but we can also be consumed. We think we are using something, but something is using us right back. That is truth of the verse, isn’t it?

— Teresa Klassen

Afterword: This link was sent to me in the comments section and I thought it was worth posting. Another take on “consuming”: http://www.calvarygrace.ca/post/e2809cI-Just-Want-To-Be-Fede2809d.aspx

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2 responses

16 05 2010
Vince

Hi Teresa

I really enjoy your posts, thought you might find this one interesting in relation to your post, it’s a post from one of the elders at Calvary Grace where I attend here in Calgary.

http://www.calvarygrace.ca/post/e2809cI-Just-Want-To-Be-Fede2809d.aspx

Vince

16 05 2010
teresaklassen

Great article Vince, thanks for sending it to me; I hope others link up and read it…

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