Thursday, December 20

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Experiencing God as Joy: Consumerism
Scripture: John 15:11

“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

I graduated from South Dakota State University in 1978 with a degree in commercial economics. Tying a biblical passage to an economic term like consumerism sounded like an appropriate challenge to me. Originally, the definition I first learned for consumerism was the study and practice of matching consumers with trustworthy information. The definition of consumerism has evolved since the 1970s, however, and is known in many circles as the selfish and frivolous collecting of products. In this sense consumerism is negative and can be rather expensive. We live in an expensive part of the United States, and there is no way I could afford to do all the things I would like to do in Boulder and in Colorado. I find things I enjoy doing and most of them are either cheap or free. I enjoy hiking and biking with my wife and my dog. I volunteer for different organizations that allow me to enjoy hobbies of mine – movies, music, and political happenings. Volunteering also allows me to share my passion for these interests with others.

To truly experience God as Joy, in my opinion, is to do things simply but completely. Find things that genuinely give you pleasure and do them often. When you do things that must be done that don’t necessarily give you pleasure, find ways to enjoy the process of completing that task. The more you immerse yourself in a task or a setting or a conversation that may not necessarily be what you would like to be doing, you may surprise yourself and actually find yourself enjoying what you are doing. Find good ways to approach life, do this on a regular basis, and the phrase “Life is Good” may become more a part of your life.

Help me to find ways to be happy. Not happiness in a superficial sense, but happiness that comes from the joy of being ‘in the right place’ – in right relationship with God, with others, with myself. Help me to radiate contentment. To abide in God’s love and feel joy from it. Amen.

~Bob Carr