The Most Important Things in Life aren’t Things, as Seen in a Commercial

We’ve all met people who are anxious to keep things in pristine condition. Some of us grew up with parents and grandparents who put plastic slipcovers on sofas or even forbade entering the “living room” on anything but special occasions. I once met a priest who kept the church locked up except for Sundays because he was concerned that people might track in dirt or otherwise alter its perfect, museum-like order. Heaven forfend that the hymnals might not be perfectly aligned in the pews!

Other people concentrate on money, forever saving funds for the proverbial rainy day and barely enjoying the good things of life in the present.

Taking care of possessions and showing prudence about money are both admirable traits in moderation, but excesses that hinder or outright bar the enjoyment of good things is to elevate things above people. The most important things in life aren’t things at all. Jesus once reminded us that the Sabbath was made for man. He said this to correct those who were so litigious about the rules of the Sabbath that the whole point was being lost. The Sabbath should be a joy, not a constant jeopardy. The rules were meant to frame the joy not eliminate it.

In this video below there is something of the message I am trying to convey. In it, a little girl dances her way through the house, causing near disasters of various sorts. In the end, though, she causes little damage. The company would have us insure things so that we can enjoy them rather than being limited by them. This gives the girl the freedom to be a little girl, enjoying her home without being burdened by the fear of breakage.

Insurance has its place, but even more so does detachment and prizing people more than things. Reasonable precautions and responsible limits are good, but things are meant to be used. This means that they may get dented, scratched, and show signs of wear and tear. That’s OK—people are enjoying them and being blessed.

3 Replies to “The Most Important Things in Life aren’t Things, as Seen in a Commercial”

  1. Just beautiful! The sheer joy of being alive!! God created us free, he’s given us many gifts in life to enjoy ourselves and to be shared with others for their enjoyment as well. Wistfully wishing I’d could’ve been that little girl…

  2. Great Msgr! But – I am beginning to wonder if you are a John Lewis shareholder??!! I am . . !! I used to work for their food supermarket division, Waitrose, for a few years before I went back to full-time professional music many years ago.
    TWO John Lewis household-insurance ads in 8 days! WOW!
    Joking aside, I do, of course, see the link with last week’s (18th November) one and, in case anyone missed it, I would heartily recommend you to go back and read that one in combination with this one.
    It all makes good sense!
    Take care all – and God bless.

  3. There is a funny joke in Spanish regarding this issue. More or less it is like follows:

    – Agent Murray reporting Police Station. Young man killed by his mother for walking on the kitchen floor while still wet.

    – Cause of the death?

    – We don’t now yet. Floor still wet!

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