The Line at the Shopping Mall
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was cruising along the highway when the traffic came to a halt. I wondered what the hold up could be? It was a Saturday, mid-day and it shouldn’t be that way. That’s when I saw it; there was a long line of cars waiting to exit at one particular exit. My kids then reminded me, “Dad, it’s back to school sales!”
Alas, how silly of me! How could I forget this annual ritual of hitting the shopping mall to stock up, making sure that our kids have the latest style of shoes, pants, skirts and shirts? I could picture the long lines, big bags, satisfied shoppers, impatient teens and the activity interrupted only by the food court.
The National Retail Federation tells us that as a country, we’ll spend $30 billion dollars for back to school spending. The average family will spend $688.00 in supplies and clothes. Typically, about 50 percent is spent on supplies and electronics. If college students are added to the mix, its roughly $84 billion dollars. The back to school season is typically the retail industry’s second largest spending event next to the winter Christmas season.
I don’t know. The lines at the mall, and the spending numbers couldn’t help but make me a bit saddened about what it says regarding our country. A couple thousand years ago, an unassuming man came from a little village, and he talked about the Kingdom. He healed people. He told them about God, the King—all in a new way and with new authority.
The people came out, lined up, and stayed until dark. In fact, so compelling was his message that they followed him from village to village. They crowded in by the seashore so much so that he had to move out to sea so that he could talk to them. In doing so, they left occupations and what they normally did behind.
I wonder if He came today, would we break away from those back to school sales to pay attention?
–William High is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.