I don’t know how you spend the Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe you brave the cold and dark to stand in line for a deal at your favorite store. Maybe you sit in the car and snooze while other family members gather up the deals. Maybe you just sit at home and enjoy a quiet day. Maybe you go out to the movies.
Our family all work retail. This week the store where I work has been preparing for battle, or so it would seem. The large white board in the training room is covered with schedules and plans. A floor plan of store is laid out with strategic points noted. The back room is crowded with items staged for deployment. This coming week final preps will be done and assignments made.
I will be up at 2:30 AM. I will leave home about 3:15. Sipping a cup of Speedway Brazilian coffee with just a touch of cream I will travel up the highway toward the store. At 4 AM I will take on the task of cleaning the rest rooms and putting final touches on the break room prep. At 5 AM I will be greeting those who show up to purchase their deals. Throughout the day we in retail will make every effort to provide goods and services for those you enter our stores.
There was a little thing appearing on Facebook and other social media outlets which points out that in America we spend the day Thursday thanking God for all we have — then rush out on Friday to buy up more.
Black Friday is all a media construct. It is a false frenzy designed to convince consumers they are missing something — that they will be left out. And so they rush out at all hours to fill a “need” artificially created by media hype.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Black Friday shopping is sinful. Just saying that sometimes we need to step back and really look at what we do and why. We can get trapped into behavior and attitudes that when exposed aren’t that pleasant or helpful.
A couple years ago a man walked into my store at 5 AM carrying his Speedway coffee and I greeted him. He wasn’t really shopping. Just killing time while his wife and daughter were at Kohl’s down the street. He commented that it was such a pity that guys like me had to get up and work so early on a holiday weekend….. What? Did he really just say that?
Against better judgement and retail training I looked at him and said, basically — “I wouldn’t be here if guys like you keep your family home and refused to shop on holidays”. I regret being so blunt, but he illustrates how we often get sucked in. He hated making me work — but was happy to join in the frenzy.
Has the sinful nature trapped you into any behaviors that really need to be seen in the harsh light of grace? Something to think about as you buy your cup of coffee Black Friday morning.