Friday, June 10
I know it's cliche, but ever since my son passed away, I've found myself extremely sensitive to how fickle human beings are. Things are going "out of style" all of the time. Our culture is obsessed with always having the newest, nicest thing. Yes, there are classics, but how often do we find ourselves judging a business, or a person by their outdated look?
I had always heard this and I always assumed it was true. However, it never really rang home to me until I started trying to keep up with things. I started buying plaid and flannel shirts, v-neck tees, cardigans, and even bought a new MacBook Pro. These things are great and nice and I genuinely enjoy having them. However, I started thinking, "How long is it going to be before these things are out of style?" I mean, my brand-new MacBook will be a whole operating system behind by fall. I don't even have a Thunderbolt connection. I love my wintertime lumberjack look, but when is that going to be old hat? I even found myself walking into a brand new building at one of our clients at work and wondering what the lifespan of its luster would be. The floor was a gorgeous dark mahogany stained concrete. Nice, shiny wood tones. All of the furniture was rich, wood-grained material with clean lines. The walls were bathed in beautiful earth tones. Then, I thought "I wonder if this was how people used to feel about wood paneled walls in houses?" At one point, the things we consider tacky and overdone were great, cutting edge designs. It's exhausting.
No wonder so many people in our culture feel burned out and stressed. Our lives are a whirlwind of change and innovation. There is constantly something new, something irresistible. Our "things" have a lifespan of about 30 seconds. Then, something better comes out and we're just not happy until we get it. When will all of this end? It's no wonder that pollution is such a problem.
Think about how many clothes you have in your closet, or how many clothes have moved their way through your closet. I think back to when I was living in Peru. I brought one duffel bag of clothes with me for three months. I was pretty proud of myself for being humble (irony) and conservative. However, there were people in Cora Cora who were amazed at how many clothes I had. Why do we need so much? I mean really. I'm exhausted of trying to stay trendy and trying to always have nice things. Yes, nice things are nice, but I want nice things that last. I'm tired of these temporary and fading things that are so amazing today and by tomorrow are on their way to the dump. When will society realize value again?
I know I sound like an eighty year old man, but there's something about being faced with the shortness of life that makes you realize how fast everything moves. Also, when you start hoping in an everlasting life, it speeds up all the more. When you're living with eternity on your mind, life goes by fast. So, I would like to take this time to implore you all to start seeking after things of real value. Seek things that don't fade as this life fades. Seek time with God. Seek time with family and cherish time with friends. I don't mean this in a depressing way. I just want us to all pull our heads out of our ascots and get back to reality. A genuine person is more interesting than a trendy person, anyways. I would even venture to bet that most trends were started involuntarily by genuine people who weren't seeking to be trendy.