It’s so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of material things in our lives, to want that stellar job for that sparkling paycheck for that stunning house. We’re all more or less on a track of creating the best life we can for ourselves and our family, but what if that sense of wanting and needing more becomes life-consuming? Or, if life-consuming sounds too dramatic, what if it’s all we know? We’re not saying we should shun materialism, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could enjoy what we have and not be self-consumed?
The Divine Principle teaches that God lost everything at the Fall—absolutely everything. When Adam and Eve forgot about God, they forgot about the enormous blessing God gave them: the creation. If everyone and everything, from the beginning of human history, lost its connection to its Creator, how skewed, then, is our view of the world around us? How many times a day, a week, a year, are we conscious of the world’s origin, its purpose and its value? Is the Fall the reason for why it’s so easy to automatically put ourselves at the center of it all?
Push pause on life for a moment and consider your own origins. That beating heart, your brain and consciousness. It’s not hard to take our lives for granted, but as we grow older and become parents ourselves, we often start to realize just how much effort, love and resources our parents devoted to us. A part of our maturation process, it seems, involves inching closer and closer to our Heavenly Parent. As the Bible story goes, God made this whole physical world just for us, His amazing children. That sounds a lot like we’re at the center of it all, but if we all saw God as our Parent, we’d probably go about life a lot differently than we do now. We’d probably be constantly grateful, and want to give back somehow, for all the love and care we’ve been given. That’s what the Day of All True Things, a Unificationist Holy Day, was established for. It’s a day on which we make an extra effort to show our love and appreciation of all things and honor their origin. Moreover, it’s a yearly opportunity to let God know that all these things we use every day, and our own lives, are originally and still His, infused with His love.
Of course, one day of the year devoted to appreciating God and all things is lovely, but isn’t the ultimate goal to live every day with this sense of awe and gratitude for the life we’ve been given? Why does it have to take a near-death experience, or a pothole in our road of life, or seeing somebody less fortunate, for us to appreciate what we have? If we truly could love all things as God does, how different would our whole existence be?
As Father Moon explained it:
“That is the way [God] invested in the creation of all things. With all His heart, He invested to create all things for us. He did it so that He could create all the elements (plants, fruits and all creation) that would become nourishment for all humanity and become the elements to create and sustain humanity. He created with the heart to give joy to us.”
-June 7, 2005, 43rd Day of All True Things
Here comes your challenge! Try out these three ways of honoring God’s creation today (and get your family in on it too). Going against the grain of our daily lives may not be easy at first, but being intentional and creative with our lifestyle and including God in each moment all starts with action.
1. Exercise a Little Consciousness
We’d say, “Exercise a little gratitude,” but it really takes a step of living in the moment to be truly grateful. Have you ever felt gratitude for something at the core of your being? Most likely you were immersed in the moment or idea for which you were grateful. The more times we do it, the more grateful for God’s gifts we’ll feel.
2. Be a Creator
We all know we’re innately creative beings, and God is the prototype! Creating new things, whether a song, a meal or an idea, is a powerful way to grow and to give to each other. It’s the medium through which we can honor each other, ourselves, our environment and God.
3. Do It All!
Go out in nature! Immerse yourself! Grab a paintbrush and paint! Lie on the porch chair and gaze at the sunset, bake some experimental cookies, climb a tree. If you’re limber, go to the park, breathe deeply on the swing set, roller skate, go for a bike ride. Or look at pictures online of the world’s most beautiful places and relish a hamburger! Soak in all that the world has to offer you, thanks to our Heavenly Parent.
If you can do one or all of these things with a mind of gratitude and love, you’ll be sure to bring God so much joy, and ease His heart that much more. Now that’s godly materialism.