Well, they’ve done it again... someone, somewhere has come up with an idea so ridiculously simple and so sickeningly obvious that no one else even saw it coming, and as a result they got the jumpstart on a very specific and short-lived industry that will undoubtedly make millions of dollars. Now, these types of things come and go, but while they’re in, they’re so in and you’re only in if you have them. When I was a kid, the fad was called “Slap Bracelets” which were basically springy little pieces of tin covered in decorative cloth that snapped around a person’s wrist. Wow. There have been Cabbage Patch dolls, Beanie Babies, Crocs Buttons and on and on. The newest fad on the block is called “Silly Bandz” and believe it or not, some genius had the idea of making a rubber band mold shaped like an animal instead of a regular circle. You wear the animal-shaped rubber band around your wrist like a bracelet, and then when you take it off, it goes back to the molded animal shape... So, the manufacturer can basically make any shape and any color. Cha-Ching!
Somebody out there is laughing right now... About a year and a half ago, a guy in Ohio came up with the idea to pour colored silicone into variously shaped molds and started telling folks about it. The word of mouth advertising took a while to fire up, but now there is a website, a facebook group and a twitter feed. As you would expect, there are even tons of copycat companies trying to get in on the frenzy, although the ‘Silly Bandz’ official website warns me not to be “fooled by imitators.” Okay, I’ll bear that in mind. There are even Christian toy makers who have started to manufacture so-called Believer Bands... yep, that’s right, rubber bands shaped like crosses and fish are being touted as a ministry tool so that kids have “a new way to share their faith.” This fad has become so popular that many stores have to limit their customers to just a few packages per purchase and in the hands of the kids, it has become such a fierce social trade industry that many school systems have banned the bands altogether!
I have no doubt that within another year or two, the folks at Silly Bandz will pack up their gecko-shaped molds, disable their flashy website and laugh all the way to the bank as the fad dies away as quickly as it took the world by storm. No self-respecting third grader will be caught dead wearing a funky, purple giraffe around her wrist and our landfills will be packed with the rubbery remains of the money-making menagerie. and that’s how it works... fads come and go. Sometimes, they go quite a bit faster than they came. When you look around these days, you don’t have to search long to find people in another kind of frenzy. Folks are fired up, emotional and possibly inordinately engaged in a kind of fad. I think the Bible would call the fad ‘human arrogance’... and it is expressed in all kinds of popular crazes like money, material possessions, fame, beauty, sports and governments of men. I know, I know, all these things have always been with us for thousands of years, so how could they be called a fad? I would say they are fads because, just as sure as they are empty, they are on the way out and in the grand scheme of things, thousands of years will only be a drop in the bucket.
Isaiah chapter 2 says, “The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear.”
See, there’s coming a day when all the stuff we get so fired up about will be gone. All our money, trade, power and beauty will be a thing of the past. All our governments with their theories and policies will be overturned and ended. On that Day, only One will be standing. On that Great Day, everything we hoped in apart from Him will be undone. Everything we’ve trusted in to do for us what only God can do will evaporate into smoke and blow away. Only the unshakable will remain and all the fads will fade. I don’t want to give my heart to something that’s temporary, whether it’s a slap bracelet or a four-year administration. I don’t want to pour my energy into a fad. Let’s set our hearts on Him, the Unshakable.