Ponderings by Doug

I shop locally. I also shop Amazon.

This time of year, there are two phrases that have caused me to smile. The first phrase is, “Your package has been delivered.” I received a text message five minutes ago that one of my Christmas presents has been delivered. It will be on the porch when I get home. I’m not worried about anyone stealing it because Guido the attack dog would get them before they could escape with the Christmas loot. Our house has become a hub for people ordering from Amazon and hiding that from significant others. I know the kids are coming for Christmas because Amazon has delivered their stuff to our house!

“Your package has been delivered” is good news for most folks. In my case, the phrase causes some trepidation. I am a lousy gift giver. I have some sort of mental block about gift selection. Perhaps I gave a bad gift, and someone made fun of me. I have all this anxiety about selecting gifts. My mother wasn’t good at it either. Mom was a pre-Amazon-QVC-shopper. Could it be a genetic trait that runs down the redneck branch of my family tree? I’ll let you know how this giving season turns out.

The other phrase that has brought me a smile this holiday season is a strange one.

“You have been successfully unsubscribed!”

I returned from vacation and discovered my Inbox full of junk. A Pharmacy chain was the most egregious offender. After I successfully unsubscribed from them; junk kept coming. I haven’t heard from them for a day or two so maybe my second attempt to get away from this national pharmacy chain was successful. I received email from everyone who had a product to sell. I think it had something to do with all the stuff I ordered from Amazon. My Inbox is reserved for people I know transacting business that is necessary for preacher types.

We like to belong! But not belonging to an email list has brought a sense of relief. I crave margin in my life. I need space to think, ponder and ruminate on the glories of God’s love and grace. I need to get to the bottom line quickly and I don’t need to be distracted with an Under Armor ad promising I will look twenty pounds younger (I did that on purpose) if I wear their stuff. After all, Under Armor doesn’t cater to industrial sized persons. All that athletic stuff is made in athlete sizes. I am a super-sized athlete.

Being unsubscribed is being set free. So, we have spam, mailing lists, junk mail, marketing phone calls, and unnecessary tweets and stories on our Facebook news feed. This stuff is robbing us of something we don’t possess, time!

You can push the unsubscribe link and set yourself free. You are following the commandments when you do. I look at the unsubscribe link as one way I can keep the Sabbath holy, even in the middle of the Christmas season.

Between the lists, lights, guests, wrapping and decorating, how are you doing with the Silent-Night-keeping-the-Sabbath-holy part of the Christmas season?

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