We want more stuff. I need a two-car garage. I want a 30/30 hunting rifle. I want a new Honda SUV. I want more stuff. I feel a need for more stuff. I want to acquire goods. I am a consumer. I consume.
In order to restore equilibrium, I need to constantly consume. I buy something because of a felt need. A few days or weeks later, I feel the need again; like a cocaine addict needing another hit. I want something again - another toy, a book, something... anything. There is a immediate sense of elation, relief, and peace when I purchase something new. But it doesn't last. Sometimes it takes a few days; but sometimes that sheen is rubbed off already within the hour. Then I want something else. I am a consumer. I consume.
Why this constant yearning for the next purchase? Why this sense of temporary relief after buying something? Why is my heart and mind so dissatisfied with the gift of life as it is? Why do I want these things outside of myself? Is life not a gift? Is life not sufficient? Why this constant yearning for more? Why is this yearning never satisfied?
The Early Fathers said that the Eucharist is this feast in which we consume bread and wine, which in turn causes us to be consumed by the Body of Christ. Could it be that here, in these earthly elements, we find a 'product' we can love, which then also loves us in return? Could it be that in the bread and the wine we find a consuming relationship in which our mastery is faced by a Mastery that doesn't destroy, but heals and lifts-up, restores and empowers? I am a consumer, but here I am consumed.
In our sin, we want such passive objects to take-in, to master, and spit out again. In our sin, we seek the passive image that we can master by lust. In our sin, we want the passive object that we can consume for our personal gain and desire. And still, we are being redeemed. We are being welcomed to a feast where the food nourishes us, heals us, restores us, and makes us partners in a beautiful economy of mutual love, of giving and receiving in self-sacrificial servanthood.
My hope: more of the bread & wine... and much less of me.