Beware the spam.
No, not the potted mystery meat, though surely it’s responsible for the downfall of many.
I’m talking about email. Gobs and gobs of it. The way it pours into your inbox with abandon, tempting you to shop, eat, and buy. It tampers with your contentment, makes you question your satisfaction with the life God gave you.
In the beginning I was unyielding. I was satisfied with my life, and needed nothing spam had to offer. I deleted it at will.
“45% off dim sum!”
I can’t stand Asian food. Delete.
“Download my new e-book Lose a Pants Size Overnight for only $5!”
My pants fit fine. Delete.
“Win a brand new 64MB IPod! Just buy a subscription to Terrafirming Gardening Today!”
Got an IPod, don’t like dirt. Delete.
The more time I spent on the computer, the less firm was my resolve. Did my upper lip need six months of waxing? Was a group discount on a Spanish tapas meal a worthwhile investment? What about a month-long roller skating pass?
These were important questions, and I wavered in uncertainty. My finger twitched as it hovered over the delete button, finally pressing down with determination.
Wait, should I have done that? I watched with regret as a set of steak knives slipped away. More and more I found myself interested in housecleaning services, window-washing, and a 17-day free trial to improve my typing speed.
One day, when I was in a particularly dejected mood, the spam hit me where it hurt.
“30 days free at TruLuv Dating Service!”
Considering Daisy Jean Miller had just dumped me, the temptation was strong. I signed up for TruLuv.
And then I got a facial, which I’m told is okay for guys my age.
And then I bought a group discount for a Brazilian steakhouse, in case I met anybody nice through the dating service.
And then I subscribed to Hot News Now! so that I would sound interesting and well-informed.
I considered the e-book on weight loss, just in case things got out of control at the steakhouse, but I thought it could wait.
After that first week of rash, spam-induced purchases, my self-control faded with every wonderfully-worded advertisement.
“Buy a case of organic dog food, receive three cans for free!”
What a deal! Spot will be thrilled with such high quality vittles. Click.
“Show your support for orphans in Timbuktu! For each $10 bracelet, $.37 goes directly to their aid!”
Those poor little tykes. I’ll do my part! Click.
“Amazing steam cleaner opens your pores with one use!”
My pores have felt tight lately. Click.
My contentment slipped along with my restraint. I’d always been satisfied with my looks, but one facial changed that as I constantly stroked my cheek in search of smoother skin. The flood of e-books forced me to question the need for self-help, self-motivation, or self-actualization.
What was I DOING? Faint echoes of a Sunday School lecture tugged at the corners of my brain. I’d completely forgotten the true source of satisfaction, according to Paul:
*I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
It was one month of spam-induced consumer bliss, and then the credit card statement arrived. I was caught with my spoils, and stripped of life as I knew it.
These days, I’m just a bum with no computer. No Internet access. No social life. No friends.
Spam has taken all of that away.
Spam, and my mom. She says I’m grounded for life.
*Phil: 4:11-13 NASB
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