Tuesday, December 14, 2010

toys

Well it’s warm and dry in here this morning…which is more than I can say about anywhere else around here. I brought the 4 wheel drive down to the beach just in case. You never know what to expect when the hills are sliding here. I don’t mind the rain as much as I thought I would. At least I’m not out shoveling it. It doesn’t often rain here nearly as much as is rumored, but when it does, it can come in waves that can get old after awhile.
One of the effects of the rain here is that I spend a great deal more time inside with princess Lily relearning how to amuse myself. I look forward to my play days with her. Grandma says that she needs to learn to amuse herself a little more than grandpa allows, but I’m having too much fun to pay much attention to that bit of advice. I’m sure that she’s right, but I’m sure that I’d rather play too. Lily is teaching me a lot through our play time. I’m also being reminded of things that I already knew…like the fact that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on the toys, they’d rather have the box. She is reminding me again about the idiots who pass themselves off as child experts who are designing the toys while they are really just marketing experts who are fleecing the adults who buy their crap.
The theory is that, if you come up with something that will convince parents or better yet grandparents that this is a worthwhile investment into their precious ones intellectual development …in other words, my kid will be smarter than your kid…, the money will start flowing and these things will go flying off the shelves to enrich forever more the lives of the children who are fortunate enough to be graced with them. What a load of crap. They just want the box. Even if they do eventually show some interest in the toy, it’s not to use it as designed and featured on a well produced commercial with well scrubbed and well behaved cherubs playing with it. Why would we ever think that people who produce commercials like that know even the first thing about children? Anyone who has ever spent an hour with one knows that life doesn’t happen like that in the realm of parenting. Now my granddaughter is the smartest 13 month old on the planet and she doesn’t have the slightest interest in using one of our latest acquisitions for anything resembling it’s stated purpose. She wants to do with it what she wants to do with it. As I was getting the privilege of playing with her yesterday, a pastoral light bulb came on in my brain with like 100 watts. We, and the people that I am Pastoral artist to, are not really any different than these children.
I have spent 18 years being fed the latest and greatest spiritual tools by the spiritual marketing machine and experts who write the books that tell me how people will respond to this or that latest trend or purpose driven whatever. I have spent 18 years being frustrated by the reality that they don’t…… respond I mean. They’d rather have the box. Lily taught me so much in our play time together yesterday about this. The reason that adults don’t play as intended any more than children do is because we all are where we are. These one size fits all ideas are for a world that is orderly and well scrubbed. The reality with us adults, just as it is with children, is that we’re not orderly. We’re not well scrubbed. We are a mess. We misbehave. We don’t follow the rules. That is the reality of the need for Jesus. In the individual image of God that we’re all created in there is no marketing plan that can address each of us on individual levels. That’s what Jesus is for.
The church has inadvertently become a marketing machine for spiritual toys that no one wants or needs. Pastors have become spiritual infomercial pitch men and women. In three easy payments of 19.95 we’ll be able to address all of your deepest spiritual longings. But wait ! There’s more…. Whatever………… I’m leaving the beach this morning to go back and search for the box.

1 comment:

Carl said...

I remember one of the greatest gifts my son ever got was on his 4th bday when he got...batteries. He didn't care about the toy that came w/it, but he jumped up & down when the batteries were unwrapped.