Friday, November 27, 2009

The Sacrifices of Black Friday

Where did we get the name Black Friday? We know that most people refer to the day as one that retailers hope to bring their year into a profit situation (known as into the black). If you do a search on the web you find other pieces of information concerning this day. For instance, says "the term Black Friday was first used to describe Sept. 24, 1869, when several financiers had tried to corner the gold market and the market crashed, and a depression ensued. Another panic in the financial markets in 1873 also began on a Friday". Wikipedia says that it "is the Friday close to the day of Thanksgiving in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season". Later in the Wikipedia site it says "the term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day". So, who really knows what it means!

If you know me very well, you will know that I am skeptical of many Internet sources and I hold zero credibility in Wikipedia claims of itself as "an online free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit". I would take that to mean that anyone can call themselves an expert in anything and edit the content to suit their needs. Therefore, I do not count their sources as authoratative. I hope that you see why I don't believe they are a reliable source of information.

Now, let's get back to my "Black Friday" observations. Many stores offer "door buster" deals that would entice anyone to go without food and sleep to challenge total strangers in an attempt to obtain a product the store only has a small quantity of. For example, laptops seem to be a major fighting point this year. Wal-Mart and Best Buy both advertised a model that was unbelievably priced (less than $200). Internet sources said that both retailers would not have enough stock to satisfy the demand (go figure). So what happens? People "camp out" from Thanksgiving (or earlier) so they may have a chance of getting the deal of a lifetime. When the hour comes, it becomes a free for all to obtain the item they sacrificed sleep and food over. When in reality the retailer offering greatest door buster guarantees the consumer will shop at their store first. How does it feel to be manipulated? 

The sad element to this picture is that people will make great sacrifices to get an item that only offers a temporal fulfillment. We as an American people are never satisfied. We have to have the latest and greatest. We will do whatever it takes to get whatever we want. But in the end, the satisfaction will never last. The great apostle Paul was content in whatever situation he was in.

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

(Philippians 4:11-13, New King James Version)

The contentment that Paul experienced only comes from knowing Jesus Christ personally. Knowing that He will provide and knowing that through Him we have assurance of eternal life. It provides the greatest happiness and satisfaction that mankind can know. Knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior will allow you to walk out of the store empty handed with a smile on your face.

Remembering His sacrifice for me,

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