My wife Christina and I always get up early to shop the day after Thanksgiving. This year we drove to a hotel that evening so that we could get up at 3:00 A.M. to get in line at Toys ‘R’ us to catch the door buster sales that morning.
This is something that we started doing years ago when we lived in Arizona and we have made it a sort of tradition in our family. In fact, one year Christina and I were on the news in Minneapolis because we were at the very front of the line at the KB Toy Store at the Mall of America.
In case you were unaware, something like that is a big deal to the more ardent Black Friday shopper!
That morning at Toys ‘R’ us I watched the most ridiculous scene unfold. There were a lot of people in line that morning. I was near the front of the line as I waited in the cold just to get in and I was behind at least 100 people.
The store had encouraged people to make a line that wrapped like a coil all the way through the store. Several people had grown weary of waiting in the very long line and had started forming their own line much to the dismay of one particular man.
The man and a couple of other people in the line pointed out to the manager that people were forming their own line. They did so in the kindest manner possible, I assure you! When they felt that their complaint was not being addressed with as much zeal as it required the man made it very clear how he felt about the slow to action store manager.
With his fist clinched high in the air he said, “You’re stupid!” The store manage apologized to the unhappy patron of Toys ‘R’ us and the man again said in the same tone and again with his fist held high, “You’re stupid!”
Another patron spoke up and assured the store manage that he was doing a good job. This displeased the man and he once again told the store manager what kind of job he thought the manager was doing.
As all of this was going on I was standing just a few feet away waiting to check out enjoying the spectacle of it all.
The woman standing between the man and myself said – very loudly – “maybe some of us have forgotten why we are here at the toy store this morning!” The good news is that it all ended quietly and nothing serious occurred.
But the words of the woman standing in line behind me have reverberated my thinking for the past couple of weeks – “Have we forgotten why we are here?”
Have we traded the genuine meaning of the coming into this world of this tiny infant who would one day reveal himself as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Have we been so inundated with the love of material things that we have actually been infected with the love of this world?
James 2:5 says, “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (ESV)