All I have to do is to go online, put the TV or radio on, or take a drive and within seconds, maybe sometimes a minute or two, I see or hear something or someone broadcasting the latest “must have” gadget, food or drink, or experience that will make me and my life faster, better, more attractive, happier, or more complete. And, not only should I be excited that this gadget, food, drink, or experience exists, but also that I can have it in what seems like a thousand different colors, flavors, or variations. And that’s not it, there’s more! It doesn’t matter if I can really afford it because I can finance it or pay for it in about ten different ways.
I wonder though, is this really good for me? There are studies that show, the more choices we have, the harder it is to make a good choice or decision. One that will be truly satisfying; that is, one that will not cause some sort of unrest after the fact.
Also, by having so many choices, I am more likely to expect that there is nothing that I shouldn’t be able to have “my way.” It becomes easier to think, “I am in control and there is nothing that should be beyond my control.” When I can almost always have what I want, when I want it, and how I want it, it also becomes harder to recognize when I am not being tolerant…patient…kind…or understanding. It becomes harder to look beyond myself and to see when I am not taking others into consideration, being present to them, and their needs.
It’s like I am constantly being told, “It’s all about me!” When just about everything I could possibly want, regardless of whether or not I actually need it, is at my fingertips, there is no need to give pause, to hold off, or to sacrifice. I can have it all, right here, and right now.
As I sit with the verse, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (Jn 2:17), I think about the meaning of the word “zeal” (intensity, desire, passion) and the word “consume” (use up, eat or drink, spend wastefully, devour, squander). I look around, and I see, when I am consumed with myself, there is little to no room for God, or for anyone else.