Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"Consider the lilies of the field..." Mt. 6:28
We're surrounded by a lot of "stuff" these days. As I walk through my house or my office, there are about two dozen brands that shout out to me every where I turn my head.
I type this blog entry on a Blogger website on a Toshiba laptop. Next to me is a box of Kleenex tissues and in front of me is a Comcast remote control that will turn on a Panasonic television set or the Wii game system. You get the point...
Logorama is the obscure Oscar winner for Best Animated Short Movie - and in its sixteen minutes, it reminds us of all the stuff that makes up our lives. The film itself has a basic plot and no deep truths to reveal, but the experience of watching it is where it gets spiritual.
The uncomfortable reality is that you will probably recognize most of the logos as they blow right past you on screen. We recognize them because we use them - over and over and over again. We use them so much that we start to trust them more than anything else. And when we put our trust there - we start to lose trust in ourselves, in others, and in God.
Jesus knew long before the advent of corporatations and product marketing that we have a tendency to put all our trust in "stuff." He told his disciples, "Do not worry so much about what you will eat, what you will drink, or the clothing you wear - because life is more than that... Why are so anxious about these things? Consider the lilies of the field - they don't work or worry... so if God so clothes and feeds the grass, how much more will he provide for you?" (Mt. 6:25,28,30)
There is much to be gained in detaching ourselves from such a logo-centric mindset. Products, food, clothes, and marketable items won't go away - but we can learn to see beyond the logo.
Consider the laborers who work at the corporation, building or creating that product. Consider the other people alongside you in the store or on the street who also use that product. Consider the social injustices that those logos might hide because they veil their unethical behavior with your trust. Consider the home-grown alternative to such corporate products. Consider the people who cannot afford the name brand products with fancy logos - who looks out for them? Consider how much you trust your family, your friends, and your God in a given day compared to the trust you have for your favorite everyday products?
A movie like Logorama should make us a little uneasy for the amount of logos that we can name while watching those sixteen minutes. Consider that uneasiness and what you might be able to do with it. God be with you in that discernment.