Are “experiences” good for you?

DSC_2310There has been a lot of talk about experiences recently.  As economists puzzle on very low growth rates throughout the Western world one theory going around is that we have hit peak stuff.  People are said to be materially satisfied so buying less material goods and looking to experiences instead.  These experiences may be going out for a meal or doing something on holiday like bungy jumping or hot air ballooning, to name two examples at random.   There is a theory that property prices are are so high that younger people priced out of them are simply spending their money on experiences.  However, are we simply swapping one problem for another?  Whilst an iphone takes emits 70kg of carbon dioxide in manufacture and uses non renewable resources, experiences that involve travel are not carbon neutral and could involve the intensive use of energy.  Cheap flights mean people can jet off for a long weekend a long way away and do.

As a Christian can I show a more low carbon sustainable way?  At the moment despite my problems I’m trying to think and pray about gratitude.  Most of us in the West are “lucky” and live easy lives in relative peace and good health.  We need to seek experiences that are simpler and more sustainable (this not to say we cannot ever go on holiday).  I’m also trying to spend time with God in quiet reflective way.  As part of this I went and sat by my apple tree and spent time in silence admiring its blossom.  Its a really special time of year when it comes out since it only lasts a few days.  This may sound a bit hippish until you read Job 37v14-16.

Pay attention to this, Job!  Stand still and consider the wonders God works. Do you know how God commands them, how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud? Do you know about the balancing of the clouds, that wondrous activity of him who is perfect in knowledge?

Neil

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