Monday, December 20, 2010

More on Stuff

This island is by nature against consumerism. There are so few things to buy compared to the States. There are more things that I expected but not a lot. In the States we are used to having everything all the time and if we can't get it online shipping takes little or no time for an item to arrive. Here there is one grocery store and the refrigeration unit on the in-bound plane wasn't working so this week's shipment of dairy and fruits was not on the plane. That means we won't see any new items in that category until next week. The word got out and Kim along with many others "stocked up" for the week.

That notion is freaky to some who are living off island. We think that we need to have what we want or what we need all the time, we are used to it. On the island we learn or are forced to "fast" or make do with what is here. We learn or are forced to practice the discipline of abstinence. There are several disciplines of abstinence that Christians can practice to grow in their reliance on God. A discipline of abstinence is simply giving up something that we normally have. The best known example is not eating for a period of time. This is fasting in a classic sense. We fast in order to learn to rely on the strength God alone gives. Jesus fasted forty days before he was tempted to have the strength for such an intense temptation.

When we fast we can give up TV, music, food, facebook, texting or a host of things we think we need. Fasting shows our dependace on these things and it also frees our time for the Lord. If we miss a meal we have more time for prayer or study. If we are not online we are free to be with people in person or to journal and refelct on our life with God.

We just don't have a lot of stuff here and I am learning that for some residents that is fine, they have learned to adjust to less and having a more simple lifetyle. Others spend a lot of time shopping online and when they are on vacation they shop tons. I am hoping that as we live here we will learn to live with less and to be more creative in how we can spend our time and money. There are many lessons to be learned living here and I hope I am open and available enough to learn them.

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