So Jess and I have really started to enjoy watching shows on hulu. We purposefully chose not to get cable or satellite, or even standard television, because we didn’t want to have unlimited access to America’s number 1 time waster. We like hulu because there is no channel surfing, no turning something on just to have some background noise, limited access to inappropriate material, and, best of all, limited commercials. Most shows just offer a 3o second ad every 10 minutes or so, much more manageable than the 8 minutes of commercials that are shown during a 30 minute time slot on the tube.
Of the ads that you do have to sit through, one that we saw yesterday brought us face to face with the reality of the over-consumption and utter waste of resources that we are so prone to in the west. The ad in question begins something like this: “Last year over 200 million dollars was spent in order to bring you this…” at which time we were bombarded with split second images from each of the Super Bowl ads that ran last year, ending with someone flying out of an office window into a tree (really funny) and an invitation to revisit last years ads in preparation for this the Big Game.
The first few times we saw the ad I missed the opening statement and just thought it was a clever commercial. It actually made me look forward to this year’s ads, which will most likely be very entertaining and successful in creating some sense of covetousness in my heart. Then I saw the intro and was confronted with the cost of advertising during the Super Bowl, not the game itself mind you, just the ads between plays. I was sickened. It was one of those moments where you feel like throwing up and punching someone at the same time. Being only three weeks out from the disaster in Haiti I immediately thought of what $200 million would do if put toward rebuilding and reviving that country. I thought of how much food and supplies could be bought in order to feed those in our country and around the world who are in desperate need of help. I thought about all the stuff I have that I don’t need and what my family and I can with what we have been given.
The reality is that we can all do with less, and the excess displayed during things like the Super Bowl or the movie Avatar is just a reminder of how little we do that can actually be called necessary. But what can we do? Do we sell all our stuff? Do we give away our homes and cars? Maybe we do. Or maybe we live to serve. We give when others are in need. We give until it hurts our wallets and our bank accounts and then we seek to do more. Do you need a Lexus when a Toyota will do? Do you need to buy from Nordstrom’s when you can buy from the Rack or Ross instead? Can you eat at home instead of eating out? There is so much we have to give. I need to ask myself these questions daily. I have a lot and I want more, but when I stand before Christ at the last day and give an account for all I have done, I don’t think that I will try to justify my “need” for an iPhone or another new guitar. I want my life to reflect the life that Jesus lived for us, a life that was poured out, even unto death, for the sake of God’s glory and the good of His people.
God has given us the tools and abilities to do more than live for ourselves. We have been called to lose our lives that they may be saved. In all of this, I hope that we can enjoy the Big Game, grateful of what God has done for us, and watchful, that we might not give in to the lie that $200 million is worth spending to watch some frogs chant the name of a beer company.