I was running this morning and for the first mile I decided to go barefoot. After that I put on my pair of Vibram FiveFingers. The ones I run in are the Bikila model which got me thinking about the company and their designs and products. Every once in a while there is a new model, sometimes much more different than others, sometimes not quite so much. When the Women's Bikila has an upgrade, it becomes the Women's Bikila LS, but you can still get the original. That started me thinking how in a Western Economy more products equals better company. So instead of simply upgrading the design of a shoe, we end up with more versions of it to give people choices. Because we love choices. I started to despise consumerism in North America and how it plays out in our lives. I think I despise it so much because I see it in myself as well. Even while I was running and thinking negatively about consumerism I was thinking how nice it would be to have a pair of KSO Trek or Treksport. As I realized this I became disgusted with myself. I like to call myself a minimalist in many areas of my life, but the closet near our door is halfway full of my shoes. I've got maybe 3 or 4 pair of running shoes in there, a pair of dress shoes, two pairs of vibrams, a pair of sandals, and who knows what else. I've got almost as many shoes as the average woman. To be fair though, the newest pair of shoes I have are my Bikilas which were a present from my parents for Christmas and after that my KSOs are newest at a year and a half or so. Beyond that all of my shoes are 2 years old or older and I don't intend to be buying shoes anytime soon. But still I think about what I would do if someone offered me another pair of Vibrams and I have to admit I wouldn't turn down the offer. There is a small stronghold of consumerism and materialism in my heart and no matter how hard I try I can't stamp it out. Its a battle only Christ can win within me. My final few thoughts were about a commercial on a local Christian radio station about mobile banking. It describes a family going for a nice walk, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson and their kids. Mrs. Robinson sees a hammock that would be great for Mr. Robinson's birthday coming up. She looks in her checkbook and realizes the account doesn't have enough in it. So she gets on her phone and using her new mobile banking makes a transfer and everyone is happy. It saddens me that our culture is so based on instant gratification, which is a large part of our consumerism. We see what we like and we must have it now, sometimes by whatever means necessary including loans and such to get something really nice for ourselves. God has put something that mitigates this in my own life, running, which has no concept of instant gratification. It is a highly delayed gratification, which I am grateful for. But it is only a mitigator. It is not the solution. My only hope and solution is in Christ who is able to change me and make me new. I'm glad I don't need a new pair of Vibrams, and won't be buying any anytime soon. In fact I think I'll slowly make the transition to complete barefoot running over the next year or so. We'll see.
For His Glorious Name,