Material Girl

I’m an ’80s girl when it comes to music, having graduated high school and then continued on to college all in the ’80s. Although she wasn’t my favorite pop star of that era, Madonna made quite a mark in music history back then before venturing on to less innocent types of expression. Her “Material Girl” anthem mimicked Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and its tongue-in-cheek lyrics and distinctive beat helped ingrain the song into peoples’ heads by the end of 1985.

Madonna confirmed in industry interviews that at the time she very much lived the ideal of her self-created Material Girl, attracted to material things because they give security and last longer than emotions.

I had occasion to think upon this song today (surprisingly the lyrics came back quite clearly to me!) as I pulled my car into the parking lot of my meeting location. I realized that I’d forgotten my cell phone back home. Upon the realization, my stomach actually dropped, kinda like that feeling of going over the first small incline on a roller coaster. My very next though was my awareness for how much I depend on my material stuff to the point of the sinking feeling in my stomach! Wow!

I can’t say I’m proud of that, especially as Christ taught that we are not to be overly concerned with “material things” but “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:24-33).

I try to make it habit to start my day with Scripture reading and personal reflection before plunging into the material world. But I realized, as I pulled into my parking spot, that this morning I hadn’t done so; I had been running behind in my schedule, rushing to get out the door (to the point that I never unplugged my cell phone from its charger, which is what started all this). What’s worse for me to admit is that there was no accompanying sinking feeling with the second realization as with the first, and I’m pretty sure there should have been.

Today my focus was not where it should have been from the get-go. But I know that God won’t be holding a grudge against me for that; we can’t beat ourselves up over every slip up or cultural whim we fall to. But we do need to be diligent in keeping what’s most important first. That treasure we’re to store up in heaven is the one we can claim long after our material possessions—and songs from the 80s—are gone.


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