Black Friday got me thinking…

Here’s the dialogue:

“No!, I don’t want to buy it! It’s cheaper than the other shoes.”

Phil: “But Sejin, those are really good basketball shoes, maybe even better than the more expensive ones.”

Mom: “Listen to Phil, and listen to me. I like those shoes. Why do you have to choose more expensive ones?”

Here’s the explanation:

I developed an insatiable desire to consume the most expensive materialistic things when I was young. For some reason, this behavior satisfied a temporary hunger- a hunger that I couldn’t grasp- through words or through logical reason (‘Sejin, you didn’t buy the cheaper and better basketball shoes.’) I did not want a thrifty, yet valuable item. I wanted the lavish, yet cheap item. My heart was empty; I was empty.

Cherishing Jesus back then was like trying to give a pomegranate seed a great big bear hug. His presence was minuscule. Any squeeze would have produced a juice stain and not the stain of His blood on my outer garment. In 4th grade, my friend Johnny, invited me to church. This Sunday ritual was going to postpone my StarCraft havoc from 10-1 pm and resume afterwards. It wasn’t a big deal. More excitingly, I was going to be introduced to new element- a “Jesus” that my parents never talked about, a “church” community that my parents never suggested, and “free food” that my parents never craved. I would enjoy the services, but then dreaded spilling the “I have to go” comments that made my friends a bit disappointed. Actually, I was furious. I wanted community because I’d be sent back home – to a place that reeked presence and friendship. My mom’s support for a “Jesus” was “See, I told you not to go today. Your upset.” It took a long time for me to be nurtured in His nature.

I think my foolish and poor consumer choices stopped in 9th grade. But that doesn’t mean that I hadn’t gained a different sinful habit until I was born again. On the verge of my 21st December season, I seek a world that is eternal. Back then, I enjoyed Black Friday more than Thanksgiving, and enjoyed the world more than His kingdom. But today, I can confidently declare that I have no more Black Fridays ahead of me, only Good  Fridays- He’s turned my fear and regrets into freedom.

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