Yesterday I prepared the last of my venison back strap for the family. For those of you who do not know what the back strap is, it is one of the most tender and best tasting cuts of meat. Prepared properly it is a great meal.
What was interesting about using the last of the back strap is that I can't go and get any more. The deer season isn't until September in the earliest (assuming one goes for the high hunt) and so I have to wait until the season comes. This is blog worthy because in our American consumer society there is rarely a scarcity of anything. Occasionally toys or other collectables are hard to find but usually we can find what we want by going to other stores or shopping online.
This lack of scarcity leads us to believe that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it. With the use of credit we don't even have to wait until we have te money. Credit combined with abundance is the fuel of consumerism and materialism. It isn't until we are faced with the inability to have something that our consumerism is revealed. This has lead me to rethink the discipline of fasting. Fasting is a way of taking a break and saying no to something, we force the "no" upon ourselves to help break the cycle of consumerism and the temptation for a habit to become an addiction.
Frugality (simplicity)is saying "no" to unlimited consumption. We realize that if we have an "unlimited" amount of something it means that someone has to go without or we deplete the resource. Take deer for example. If we all had unlimited amount of venison then we would be back to the market hunting days which almost eradicated deer as a species. Today with the current hunting regulations and the practice of conservation there are plenty of deer. If I personally had an unlimited amount of venison given the current practices then someone else would have to go without.
Notice how unchecked consumerism leads to addiction, depletion of resources and the uneven distribution of resources (also known as poverty and injustice). The disciplines of fasting and frugality (simplicity) help us combat the force of consumerism and therefore help us break the addiction to more and unlimited stuff.
Also by saying no to consumerism then our resources become freer for others, we can share what we have because we have learned to be content through our practice of frugality and fasting. We have learned that food and stuff are not our source of strength and joy, God is.
I guess I learned more from that deer than I thought :).