Sunday, September 23, 2007

Greed is so ugly

So yesterday morning we headed over to Springdale with plans to go by a free yard sale and then do some shopping at Aldi's and such. This yard sale was advertised on Free Cycle and the family was trying to do something good by blessing other people. We thought we would pick up a couple of things to help out Allen's brother who is having to start over and I thought I would get some more kitchen plastic containers. When we got there. I was shocked. I had told my kids on the way there they could pick out 2 things, maybe 3 depending on what they were and how many other people were there. After all, we didn't want to be greedy and be unfair to others. Plus we were only going to take something we could use not stuff just because it was free. We showed up at 9:05 and everything was picked over. People were grabbing as much as they could...boxes full and stacking up huge piles then letting there kids guard the mass. I did pick up a couple of O (Oprah's) magazines that were being completely ignored in what looked like the last box of items not taken. We never have extra money to get magazines and thought that it might be fun to look through. But then after someone told Gabby, "that's mine" after she picked up a toy out of a pile of hundreds that someone was hoarding, we just stood there and watched. It was as if we were watching looters or a village that had been starving a shipment of steaks. It was almost scary. And even worse was how sad it was. Nothing there was Food, Shelter or Clothing. This was all extra....stuff.

We got in the van and the kids all asked why they didn't get anything and why I said everyone should only take 2 things when everyone else was taking a whole bunch. I still cannot get the image out of my mind the way people were rushing around trying to get everything they could as if their lives depended on it. Had it been advertised for even 10cents an item, I doubt 1/2 the people would have showed up and out of them that did show up I'm sure they would have been a lot more picky what they were taking. In fact, I don't think I would have spent even 20 cents on the O magazines.

So what does this mean? Does this mean that the people who showed up were full of greed wanting something for free? Does this mean that all the people going crazy and hoarding really were in need or is it just the verse, "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil?" It seems when we have less God in our lives we seem to think that money and things will bring us protection. Did anyone else at that sale know God? Did anyone else even think it was selfish that they were grabbing all they could? The neighbor across the street was running back and forth picking up boxes and stacking them in front of his garage. Why? To use or to resale and make some money? And probably only $20 at that. $20! Does that justify an unwillingness to share when it was given to you?

I couldn't help but pray that we would have the opportunity this week to bless other families. And opportunities for my kids to bless other kids. We do not have extra, but what do we have that we can pass on to someone else? My house if full, cluttered, the kids toy boxes runneth over! Oh Lord, please safe guards our hearts. Remind us always that joy comes from you not things!


Amy said...

What a lesson for your kids to learn at an early age. It really is amazing how people will go nuts for the word free. Or even cheap. That's why the day after Thanksgiving shopping is so messed up, people loose all sense of reason and turn into savages. It's man at it's worst when it comes to greed.

So not cool.

WendyJanelle said...

That's just so sad.


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