Besides thinking that $500 is too much to pay for a phone and besides the fact that $60 is a hefty price per month, there is another reason why I can’t but an iPhone. After church yesterday one of our students caught a ride home with our children’s minister. As the two rode, the student, knowing that I’m an Apple nut, asked, “Do you think Sean will get an iPhone?” Melanie, our children’s and worship minister answered, “If he did, I could never listen to him preach again, because that’s the one thing that he is always preaching against.”
Well, there you have it! Though my heart wants to tote the newest Apple must-have item, all of my sermons and talk about consumerism and the American culture of lust and excess have blown up in my face. Alas, if I buy an iPhone, I lose the “cred” that I cannot buy.
I have to make a confession: At the same moment these two were having the conversation about me and the iPhone, I was in fact at the Apple store looking at the iPhone! I watched a movie trailer on it — it looked great; I listened to music — it sounded awesome; I made a phone call — my wife never picked up; and I looked up this blog — it was hard to read, but the blog content was excellent! All in all, the phone is very, very cool, but not a necessity if, like me, you have a laptop that is almost always with you. Plus, I was taken with the fact that the Apple store had plenty in stock still, kinda makes you wonder why so many folks camped out so long to spend so much money.
And this is where my commentary of consumerism does click in.
How much stuff do we need? The human condition and experience tell me that somewhere today there is someone who is deeply in debt already showing off his new $500 phone to his coworkers. There’s some person out there who already had a phone and a way to take pictures and a way to get on the net and so forth, who now has a new $500 way to do the same things that they could do already.
And at the same time, 1 billion people in the world live on $1/day and 1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. Yet, knowing that, I, along with many others, find myself desirous of something that doesn’t do anything that we couldn’t do before, but only does it in a sleeker, cooler looking way. What’s up with us?
I get that in the American culture, things like internet access, e-mail, sms test messaging, mobile communicating, etc… are needed, even a necessity for some; but it seems that so many of us don’t think twice about buying and buying even if we don’t have a genuine need.
As children of God, we are called more to create than to consume. Maybe that’s something we should give some thought to. That’s just my take!