The way our economy works today, it’s much easier to be a minimalist. I don’t have to hang on to things, because everything is replaceable. There’s no sense in paying for a repairperson, no reason to buy expensive parts, or to store things away for a rainy day. It’s trendy and admirable to be a minimalist. And part of the reason it’s so easy for us all to get on board with this, is because goods are cheap. It’s easier to toss things out, than it is to take the time to repair them.
Faith has become a commodity to be used up. Taken. Consumed.
We want to come back for more, week after week. We want to put in as little effort as possible, and receive rewards in return. But this isn’t the way it works. This isn’t the way the world was set up. The world was designed with a rhythm of giving and receiving. When we look to creation, we see the snow capped mountains melt and run into streams. Streams run into rivers and lakes and reservoirs and are used to provide drinking water and irrigate crops.
It’s a continual process of giving. The sky gives the snow, the mountain gives the water, the water gives the crops, it just keeps happening and happening and happening. Giving and receiving. Receiving and giving. There was a time not long ago when the economy didn’t revolve around disposable goods being used up and thrown out. Now, everything has changed and our new rhythm has become take and toss. Faith has become just another thing to consume. We use it up and toss it out just like everything else.
I’ve come to realize that taking and tossing is a way of life that uses, abuses and exploits everything that surrounds. If I want to move away from this rhythm, I need to move toward a way of live that creates, sustains and stewards everything in creation. This is no small task. It’s a paradigm shift. It’s a countercultural lifestyle. It’s completely opposite of the way the world works. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not to deny myself of pleasure or beauty or aesthetics. Those things are all incredibly important, and I’m not advocating for a life of asceticism.
What I do believe this means is that I need to be careful to not back up the flow. I don't want to be the reason that there’s a cog in the system. I want to be a part of it. I want to be contributing to the rhythm of receiving and giving. I am amazed that I get to be a part of it.
I meet people all of the time who don’t know what their purpose is. People who are lost, aimless, and usually depressed. They don’t know why they’re here. They’re looking for that one thing. That one thing that will give their life meaning.
But here’s the thing. It’s an elusive thing to go searching for, because it’s hardwired into you. When you’re able to peel away the temptation to consume and instead lean into your purpose to create, there lies meaning. The purpose of your life is to participate in God’s creation, to build for the kingdom.