Saturday, October 22, 2011

$ and Stuff

Money makes the world go 'round...

No it doesn't.

But then again, our sick world does so often come back to money. I find the (figurative) place in which I live to be bizarre, for I am not poor. I'm at the top 2% of the world. However, I'm not rich. How can I be rich when there's absolutely nothing in my bank account? Americans may look at me and say "poor", while Africans would look at me and definitely say "wealthy". I struggle to fill in that hole of dissonance.

This week I overdrew my bank account for the first time. It was a complete accident and actually happened as a result of a fee I did not know I was being charged (that's another thing... "you can keep a minimum balance of $5,000, or we'll charge you a $10 monthly fee" Why? I don't have enough money for your standards so you're gonna take some of the money I do have? Ugh, I just do not understand)... Sorry. Back to the deep lesson I'm drawing from this mundane occurrence (which did not feel at all mundane at the time, let it be said).

I'm praising God that I got paid yesterday and that the overdraw was minor. But then I prayed this funny little pray yesterday morning. Would you like to see?

"Thank you for my pay check today. Please help me to be careful with spending this money. Please provide for me... through Mom and Dad? I'd really love to be able to pay them my monthly due, but I can't do it without their help. Ha! It's like that time you showed me how I can't give you gifts without your help... keeps me humble."

Yes, I was reminded of this beautiful picture the Lord gave me about a year ago. I was sitting outside on a crisp November morning with a dirty chai (still the best hot bev in the world), closed my eyes, and saw myself dancing with a giant gift. It was wrapped in blue with a pretty Martha Steward ribbon 'round the top. The girl dancing was Young Christine, and she was full of joy; empty of concern. I asked God what this picture might mean, thought on it throughout the day and realized a probable interpretation:

I have a great desire in my heart to give gifts to the Lord. To serve him, to bring him joy, to give him glory. But I can not do this without first accepting the gifts he has given me: salvation, adoption, empathy, hospitality, nurture. This concept is childlike, in the best sense of the word. It's as if I'm saying, "Daddy, can I have some money so I can buy you a Christmas present?" It's what I did as a child with my parents. It's apparently still what I do as an adult with my parents. It's what I do with God... and he loves it. Glory can not be given to him without his power at work. He is ultimate: King, provider, gift-giver, glory-maker. Hallelujah.

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