It's Five Minute Friday - a blogging event that I look forward to every week! Writers all over the internet, joining together to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and encouraging each other. Head here to learn more and join in.
Here in America, we have so many choices. Any item we want, we have a wall of them to choose from - unless it's some highly specialized something, there are going to be at least a few different choices (and if it is a highly specialized something that becomes popular, rest assured that others will jump on the bandwagon soon).
A little over a year ago, I went gluten-free (my Mum was diagnosed with Celiac, so it was precautionary. Subsequent events have confirmed my suspicion that I have it, as well). And suddenly I found my choices dwindling. There's more to it than just not eating bread - gluten is in everything (and that is only a slight exaggeration). It's an anti-clumping agent in spices. Really? Why?! Then when our daughter was two months old, we discovered that she had a dairy allergy, so I went dairy-free (being her main food source and all). And guess what? Dairy is in everything. It's in sidewalk chalk (see, it's not just food you have to worry about).
But we've adjusted. I've gotten good at researching and finding hidden contaminants, asking Good Questions and impressing it on the wait staff at the few restaurants we can eat at how important it is to avoid cross-contamination, and accepting the fact that there are a lot of things that I really liked and considered "needs" that I can actually live without.
So the project that I'm embarking on now is just the sort of thing I relish - a quest of sorts, that leads to a better end. Yesterday, the End It Movement raised awareness about the 27 million slaves that are currently in our world. And I decided to make a choice: to slowly but surely work toward never again supporting a company that uses slave labor or employs any sort of unethical, dehumanizing practices. I'm choosing one thing every month to thoroughly research... this month, I'm doing oral hygiene (start small!) I've already discovered that palm oil is bad (unless specifically noted otherwise). It kills orangutans and is harvested by untrained eight year olds - and guess what? It's in everything.
Today, let's make a choice. Let's not choose the prettiest package, the one with the catchy jingle or the funny ad, the first one we see at eye level as we're hurrying by, or even the most economical - let's choose to proclaim liberty to the captives and the oppressed, to pray for a recovering of sight for our selfishly blinded eyes --- and let's take the freedom that we ourselves have been granted, and choose this day whom we will serve: a God who has a heart for the widows, the fatherless, the poor, and the broken - or the idols of Western consumerism that blast us with all of the things we "need" and "deserve."
How can you choose to make the needs of others a priority over your own today?