Picture this: camping out all night to be first in line, waiting anxiously for the door to open. As you hear the door begin to open, you assume your best sprinter’s stance. Then, in a rush of adrenaline, you blow through the door at breakneck speed to be the first to get to…
the Baby Jesus.
Bet you didn’t see that coming!
This is the time of year when my irony detector gets pegged… when peace on earth meets full-contact shopping. I can just see the preparation of the hard-core shopper the night before black Friday:
– 3 alarms set? Check!
– Clothes laid out, to include my fastest shoes? Check!
– Checkbook, credit cards, and cash at hand? Check!
– (Oh… and don’t forget the mace!)
I‘ve often wondered what the motivation is for the hard-core shopper. I’m not talking about the average shopper here, I’m talking about those who would trample people at an entrance, or mace others to get that certain sweater.
Are those few dollars saved worth the loss of humanity? Is it a competitive drive to get the best bargain, even if it’s not something you really need?
At this point, you’re probably expecting me to say that you’re a terrible person if you participate in black Friday shopping. But I’m not going to say that.
(Bet you didn’t see that coming either!)
Instead, I’m going to ask you to consider doing these three things this year:
- Pray for peace, even in the midst of Black Friday shopping (and especially for those packing mace!).
- If you’re going, consider it a mission field… be an agent of peace. Your message will stand in clear contrast in some situations you might encounter; so be prepared to show peace and grace!
- If you’re not going, don’t judge those who do… maybe money really is that tight this year, or maybe that’s the only time someone can go because they’re working two jobs to support a family. We don’t know.
I know, this doesn’t change the fact that Black Friday can still breed greed, and even violence. But if we want to see that change, perhaps we should offer a more attractive alternative to certain elements surrounding Black Friday.
Look at the checklist above one more time, but change the destination to your place of worship. When was the last time you set three alarms to make sure you’d get to worship on time? The values and motivation that drive Christians must be different… but they should be no less passionate.
I humbly submit, that until our desire for Christ and the Body of Christ is as powerful and driving as the motivation for Black Friday, we won’t be able to show why Good Friday is a better deal than Black Friday.
What has been your experience with Black Friday? Have you ever considered it a mission field? How would you go about showing that Good Friday is a better deal?