BLACK FRIDAY and the “Scarcity Effect”…
Black Friday’s success is based largely on what retailers call “the scarcity effect.” By creating the illusion in the minds of shoppers that a product is a “must have” item that is also limited in supply, as well as available but for a brief period of time, the “I must have it now” demand is triggered in the consumer’s mind.
Living, however, with a “scarcity” mentality is not limited to the day after Thanksgiving. Isn’t this how most people live virtually all the time? Mistakenly believing there isn’t enough to go around, people endlessly collect, hoard, consume, and all the while seem oblivious to the fact that it is this mentality that gives birth to internal stress and anxiety, the kind about which Jesus spoke, when he asked, “Why do you worry about what you eat, or what you will wear, or how you will live, and so forth? (Matt. 6:25-34).
Instead, Jesus suggested, “Seek first the kingdom and all these other things will be added” (Matt 6:33). And, what is the Kingdom we are to seek? It is not a religion…a belief system…or, the recitation of the “Four Spiritual Laws” complete with a pre-prepared Sinner’s Prayer of repentance. It isn’t a particular denomination either…or, an institution…and it certainly is not the church.
Instead the Kingdom is that profound inner awareness of Source itself; the inexhaustible supply of Presence itself. It is that which Jesus described to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well as the “water that quenches the most insatiable thirst” (John 4).
In other words, when you’ve tapped this well, the faucet is no longer necessary…the frenetic search ends…the emptiness disappears…your thirsts for significance, recognition, happiness are once-and-for-all satisfied. Like the woman at the well, you’ll no longer need the bucket (John 4:28)–in her case, or the shopping bag in that of your own.
Blessed Advent, my friends.