“I’m going shopping.”
I’ve heard this phrase a number of times in my lifetime. It seemed normal. When I was younger, Phil and I used to go to the mall for no other reason but to be at the mall and to shop. People of all ages go to the mall to ‘shop.’ When we went on our missions trip to Toronto, one of the days was dedicated to shopping at the Eaton’s Center. When we went on a missions trip to London, England an entire day was ours and many went shopping. There is a new phenomenon that seems to flow through us like blood called the Internet and thousands upon millions of people use it for nothing else to shop. I find myself at times surfing on ebay, cheap computer stores and bargain sales for shopping deals all the time.
It was two days ago when I realized how absolutely ridiculous the entire idea of shopping is. I heard a girl say to one of her friends that she was going to go shopping. Then my thought avalanche began:
[My right brain]: Shopping for what?
[My left brain]: She just want to shop.
RB: For what?
LB: For stuff, you know, just walk through the halls and pick stuff out that is cool
RB: She doesn’t know what she wants?
LB: Not yet, but she will when she sees it
Yes I was talking to myself.
It dawned on me that here in the West we can shop when we don’t need anything. When we are bored, we shop. When we have money, we shop. It’s a very interesting dilemma when we go shopping and we don’t even know what we are looking for. I think that says something about our culture and about us.
Obviously we need products; we need to go shopping for things. However, I would challenge our need ever to go ‘shopping.’ Shopping has become an outing. Shopping has become an event. Shopping as an event means that we have way too much money and we aren’t using it properly at all.
When we actually think to just ‘shop’ when we are bored or we have money I think we have some serious problems as people. How selfish is that? When we have money, or when we are bored, or when we want to do something we simply go spend money on ourselves. When was the last time that you got excited because you had money so you could help someone else out? It’s been a long time for me, I can say that much.
Let’s not let the sentence stop at the word shop; let’s not be consumed by our need for materialistic things. If your sentence ends with the word shop, and its for the sake of shopping, stop, think about it and do something else steward-like with your money. Suffice your sentence with ‘for groceries,’ ‘for jeans,’ ‘for a hat,’ ‘for shoes’ as opposed to just ending with ‘I’m going shopping.’ We will all find that we will end up with less useless stuff and we are allowing our resources to be used for something better than our own pleasure.