A human being is a longing for God and nothing less than God will satisfy us; the seductive voices that would make us anything less than this are to be resisted. Our battle will continually be with the deadly reductionisms in the world today; with attitudes that diminish human beings to disposable commodities, to means to commercial or political ends.
-Alan Jones, Exploring Spiritual Direction
Each of us has a longing, whether it's for money, fame, the perfect relationship, the perfect house or car. But, material wants (And some people see relationships as material possessions!) are just a symptom of our deeper longing for the joy and happiness that only a relationship with God can provide.
We're not quite sure how to cultivate that relationship. We have this push and pull relationship with the divine. We desperately want to live in that blissful oneness with our creator, but at the same time, the seductive voices of the world tell us we have to give up everything material to get it. We are caught between God and the world. God calls us to a journey, often fraught with pain and challenge, to deepen our relationship with Her, while the world offers shallow, immediate gratification. So often, we grab for the easy, the shiny, the new. We are always disappointed, always grasping for more and more when the new wears off or an equally attractive worldly bobble appears on the horizon.
The irony is that when we take the chance on God and go on that journey to deepening our relationship with Him, the material world fades in the distance. The new and the shiny are not as attractive as before. We don't miss the instant gratification because we know it will not give us lasting joy.
As we journey with God, drawing closer to God, filling our spirit and senses with God, material concerns and possessions are seen in a new light. Instead of objects to please us, they become tools to be used to please God and further God's work in the world. The material world becomes a resource to implement the greater good, not just a source of instant pleasure. We still can take pleasure in material things, but we now understand their purpose. They are not here for our selfish use - to be consumed and tossed into the garbage the next day. Instead, they are here to be used for the good of all.
As we draw closer to God, resisting those seductive voices become easier and our view of the material world changes. No longer do we see people and things as disposable commodities to be used. Instead, we see them as holy, beloved creations of God and we honor them.