– Monday Muse –
Dear One, I actually can remember life before advertising? Certainly, the time I am referring to had advertising, but it was a very limited amount on the three or so television stations available. And there were few ads per program, nothing like today’s bombardment.
My husband, Ron, has taken to recording the news and football games before he sits down to watch them. When he does sit down, he quickly scrolls through the ads. That saves about 15 to 18 minutes for every hour of viewing. That’s a huge savings of time. Hey, did that sound like an advertisement? Oh dear.
Not too long ago, I pulled up to a gas pump, and put my credit card in the slot. When I did, a screen lit up displaying a loud, hurried ad, which was followed by many more. I could not run, I could not get away from them; I needed the gas. I normally spent the fill-up moments quietly staring into the sky thinking ‘great’ thoughts, but no longer. Now it seems that a salesman, an uninvited salesman, will override my inner voice. What private space will be invaded next?
That question made me remember that even public bathroom stalls are now being used for advertising. Though I try not to read the ads, I read them. I do. And though it irks me, the name of the ad company is apropos, ‘Everywhere You Go.’ Not only do I dislike the play on words, I dislike the expanding truth of the words – for ads are everywhere. We even wear them on our clothing? We are walking ads! And somehow the merchants get us to pay ‘extra’ for the ‘so called’ privilege! Slick…slick.
And even in our homes, on the Internet, we have to dodge ads from every direction, and our cell phones are no different. Ads on our phones now float between our email alerts. Really? And if we take a call from a salesman, we do not want to be rude, for on the other end, we remind ourselves, that there is a human being, someone God loves, someone God asks us to love. But the sense of being under constant attack sometimes overcomes us, and we flee with little regard for the person behind the voice, the person simply trying to earn a living.
So what is all this being chased, chased by some individual, or company, doing to us? It is shortening our patience and hardening our hearts.
How do we feel at the checkout counter, as our items are rung up, when we are asked for the thirtieth time that week, “Would you like to give to such-and-such?” We feel like a grinch. For we have already said, “Yes,” many times. We don’t want to appear uncaring, but finally, we’ve had it, and we don’t care how we are perceived. We say, “No.” And although we said it in a quiet voice, it felt like we’ve yelled, “NO!!!” And our hearts harden a little more. And sometime later, when we are asked, we say “No,” with little or no thought to the charity’s cause, or what anyone might think. And our hearts harden a little more. This is a sign of the times.
Methods for getting what’s in our pockets into other pockets are getting quicker, slicker, almost constant, and making us more and more distrusting, and certainly more hardhearted. For this reason, we must stop, and do a heart check ‘Everywhere We Go.’ For inside we have a heart that, if allowed to harden, will lose all similarity to the image of God.
“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God
He created them; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
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