I have two pictures for you to consider:
There is something that is so important to us, that is missing from these two pictures. I was thinking about it the other day, while talking with Babu about the world economy. Just what the world needs, two fat guys without any economics education discussing how to best fix the economic mess we find ourselves in.
Economics. How has it become the most important part of our lives, or our national security, of our future? Why is our quality of life measured by how much stuff we can buy? Sure I understand the role money plays in our lives. As far as I can tell, there is no getting rid of it. It is here to stay. The question is, are we going to allow our self worth to be determined by how much money we have? Will we be measured by stacks of Benjamin's?
I believe that we need a new measuring stick. When you come over to our house, you will not find a brand new Jeep. (Though I admit that I really like them.) The fact that there is not a Jeep or Landrover parked in our driveway does not make me less of a man. You will not find the latest, biggest T.V. sitting in our living room. You will not find a lot of things, not because there is anything wrong with those things, but simply because we cannot afford them. However, despite the fact that we don't have a fat bank account, we don't feel poor.
Most days, I feel extraordinarily wealthy. I have a beautiful wife who loves me. I have an abundance of children, who all love me. I have great friends, and I am doing a job that I love. Plus on top of all that, I know that my God loves me. I am happy and blessed even though I don't have a new Jeep or even the option of borrowing money to buy one.
A new measuring stick. Families, relationships, love, these could be ways of measuring our prosperity. Somehow I don't think a stimulus package is ever going to buy us happiness. A bigger house is not going to do it. T.V.s, computers, Ipods, Iphones, and all the stuff that is so important to us, just will not make us better off than we were without them.
They have their places. In our hands, not our hearts.
I have exchanged my measuring stick. I refuse to be defined or contained with a consumer spending index or anything else of that nature. I am measuring my quality of life through my family, friends, and faith.
A new born baby and Adam in the Garden of Eden. What's missing from the pictures? What they don't have are pockets.
We were created without pockets. We are born without pockets. When we enter the next life, we go without any pockets no matter how our bodies are buried.
Why then are pockets so important to us now? It is as if we live for our pockets. We spend a majority of our time working somewhere to be given money to put in our pockets. We are constantly thinking about our pockets and how long the money there will last. Will it be enough for the house payment? College tuition? Cable bill? Car repairs? Insurance? And on and on.
To survive in this messed up world we need pockets, but that does not mean we have to live for those pockets.