“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Black Friday: An Alternative Narrative?

I follow the Star Tribune on Twitter. The other day, I saw this Tweet:

 Star Tribune 

Black Friday shopaholics: With many stores opening at midnight this year, will you just stay up? Tell John Ewoldt: jewoldt@startribune.com

It's true that there are great "deals" to be had on Black Friday, and there will certainly be people out and about filling the stores, probably even at midnight. But this Tweet, it seems to me, somehow misses the mark.

On the one hand, a voice inside my head says, "Yippee - great deals! - stores open at midnight!" On the other hand, as a person of faith, I'm curious about living into another story, a story about slowing down, pausing, reorienting, saying, "I have enough...how might I share the blessings and treasure that I already have? And how might I focus on the things that truly feed my spirit?"

And so I wonder: what other story might we create and live into on Black Friday? Who might we spend this day with? How might we honestly take inventory of our deepest needs and yearnings? How might we spend that day in a truly life giving way? How might we spend every day in this way?

I long for another Tweet from the Star Tribune that might go something like this:
"As you take stock of your life and the things that truly nourish you, how will you be spending Black Friday? Will you staying up to midnight, talking and laughing with friends? Will you be spending time with your children, creating memories that last a life time? Will you be giving yourself space and time to listen to the small, still voice within? " (I know, it's longer than 140 characters!)

How will you be spending Black Friday?
We'll be talking about this and more at First Universalist in the coming weeks, as we kick off our new sermon series, "Gift." Services are at 9:30 and 11:15 every Sunday.


Denise Konen said...

Hi Justin,

Thanks for your thoughts on Black Friday. I will be spending it with family making fun gifts for Christmas! Homemade gifts are so wonderful to give and recieve.

Anonymous said...

What a glorious typo...

You meant "in the coming needs" rather than "in the coming weeks."

That's sorta your point isn't it? Those "needs" just keep coming....


Nancy Jones

Justin Schroeder said...

Yes, a glorious typo, indeed! Sorting out needs and wants and what really satisfies our longing is a life's work. I'm going to correct that typo...