College assignments and sleepless have dominated the past few days, (as has the newly discovered Friday Night Lights box set, so good), and also, to be honest, clothes week has just been a bit….fnuh. It wasn’t awful, just dull. I like the whole process of deciding what I feel like wearing and earrings just make me happy. For a Clothes fast to really start to hit home, I think I would need to go hardcore and, like Jen Hatmaker did in ‘7’, only wear 7 items for a full month. I’m guessing by the end of that month my issues with clothing would really start to rear their ugly heads. But there have been whispers and hints, little questions in the back of my mind that probably could do with some attention. Like, why do you think about who you are going to see in the day when deciding what to wear? Or, why, on a college day, do you think about the outfits you’ve worn in the past few weeks in class before dressing? Hmmmm, who I am dressing for?
There was another, unexpected, side-effect to this week. I had picked up a couple of Women’s mags in the charity shop a few days ago. Juju went down for a nap and I installed myself with a cuppa and a blanket in my favourite chair. Bliss. I don’t really read these kind of mags, simply because they are pretty pricey and I get a good dose of them when I am in the hairdressers, but I enjoy a wee flick. They are both marketed at women like me, with my social background and means and I was really stunned, as I turned the glossy pages, at what I was being sold. Every single article, advert and feature was pitching me a lifestyle way beyond my means and I would guess, the means of about 90% of it’s readers. The fashion spread had dresses at 4oo pounds, coats at 1000, jewellery in the hundreds. Lifetsyle features were in the houses of the rich and D-list famous, ‘getaways’ to far flung parts and cosmetics pages were all about how to keep up with celebrity make up styles. I guess I realised that the purpose of this magazine was to create either discontent or greed within me. To go after what I don’t have or feel worse about what I do. Later in the day, we read these words in home group,
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy
I need to hear these words of life, of realignment. The magazines and the thousands of adverts I see every day dangle their bright and shiny things in front of me and, more often than not, I buy into their version of the kind of life I should have, the kinds of things I should own. And I do it at the expense of contentment and thankfulness.
I’m not sure I would have had that reaction, even a few weeks ago, to the magazines. In entering the slightly unhinged world of ‘7’, I am being prodded awake. Or maybe I am weaning myself off the Kool Aid.