Yesterday on my way to Albertsons for my annual Valentine Day flower arrangement purchase I was slowed down by traffic for the Youngsville Mardi Gras Parade. I’m sure these two events have collided in the past. I just hadn’t noticed it. I began to try to tie the two events together.
The Albertsons looked like a floral arrangement first aid station. It seemed every employee was drafted as amateur florists. Men with confused looks tried to make reasonable purchases from the vast array of choices. I couldn’t help but think that those spending the most money had the most to seek forgiveness for, but that’s probably just me. I spent more than the average. Just so you know.
Valentines Day seems less about love and more about obligation. How thrilled can a loved one be to receive a gift that was mass produced on the same day that nearly everyone in town is receiving something similar. Don’t get me wrong. I participate. I have been in love with the same woman for 45 years and I try not to miss an opportunity to show her how I feel. Valentine’s Day just doesn’t seem to be my best chance. There is a certain lack of authenticity to the gesture which brings me to Mardi Gras.
I really don’t get this one. Folks pay thousands for the privilege of being called a King or Queen for a day. They get to hurl worthless trinkets to throngs of eager often intoxicated subjects. They get to dress up in uncomfortable clothes and attempt to recreate the “balls” of our childhood fairy tales. I guess there isn’t a lot of harm in it. I just don’t see the point. Like Valentines Day it lacks authenticity.
There are real poor out there, financially, socially and spiritually, who have needs. There are real opportunities to shower blessings that would make a real difference. Why not do that? I wonder what good could the money spent on these celebrations bring if more authentically directed?
There are many who need some assurance they are loved and appreciated. Some of them live with us. They need more than an annual nationally scheduled reminder. What are you going to do to let someone know you love them say . . . a month or 78 days from now?
It seems these two coinciding celebrations point to real needs. The need to be assured of love and the need to be blessed. More importantly, the desire God places in each of us to love and bless like He does. These needs don’t arise just once a year, nor can they be met with annual salves. Let’s commit to doing both more often and more authentically.
Hope you had a nice Valentines Day and a safe Mardi Gras.