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That Stubborn Idol: The Almighty Buck

October 24th, 2006 by Jason · 2 Comments

Having made our way up to Seattle, then further up through Canada we are now firmly settled in Seattle and in a place that’s starting to feel like home. So that’ a partial excuse for not posting in so long. But it’s not the real answer for why I haven’t posted in the last couple of weeks. I should have posted, I’m still jobless (anybody need web programming work?) and so have lots of time on my hands. Except that it’s the very status of being jobless that is the reason I haven’t posted, or found an Ultimate Frisbee league, or done much of anything except look for a job. What I’ve found over the past couple of weeks is that I have a deep, comfort-inducing attachment to money that I never knew I had. Which is a bit ironic, because I’ve always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t care all that much about the ol’ greenback. In fact, I remember in college my professor deflating some of my idealism after I expounded the many virtues of being poor (she realized better than I that it’s all too easy to extol poverty when one has only ever seen it from the outside).

I’m now getting the slightest hint of what it’s like to be incomeless (I won’t pretend I’m poor), and I’m revising some of my college views of the subject. First off, it’s not near so care-free as I imagined one would be if freed from the entrapment of caring about my possessions and how to get more of them.  Instead I find myself constantly worrying about how I’m going to come up with rent for the month, so much so that I find it hard to concentrate on much else (i.e. blogging). Second, being incomeless in no way guarantees that one doesn’t still idolize Lincoln’s mug shot. In fact, I’ve probably thought more about money and how I spend it (or don’t as the case may be) more than ever in the past couple of weeks. My wife and I have gotten in more arguments over the stuff than ever before. And not because we so much disagree on how to live, but because I obsess over every penny that slinks out of our dwindling savings account.

Nevertheless, even if having no income does not de-throne the money idol, it at leasts highlights my desperate dependence on it for comfort and stability. Of course I’ve thought much about the rich young ruler and how dismayed I would be with Jesus’ answer if he asked me to sell it all away. Only I would not walk away from Jesus sad, as the ruler did, but terrified because living with nothing, completely reliant upon the mercy of others, seems too precarious, too vulnerable. It seems I have some work to do if I’m going to get out from under the tyrannical thumb of Mr. Mammon. Perhaps I’ll begin by obsessing less and blogging more!

Tags: life · theology

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 KJV // Oct 26, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    Be very carful for what you wish for!

    1 Timothy 6:10
    10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

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