Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And now, the fickle finger of fate

As of last Friday, my retirement contribution of $200 was worth $197. Therefore, I felt that capitalism had failed, the government was robbing me, the fat cats on Wall Street were doing me badly, that Geithner needed to go, and that I'll be so broke in retirement that I'll have to live with then-former President Obama. Moreover, I was convinced of the impending collapse of the entire nation of America, that we'll never recover, and that we are living at the end of time, from an Apocalyptic standpoint.

As of today, my $200 is worth $206. So, I guess the bailout is working, we got the money back from AIG, the government's not so bad, Geithner can stay, I won't live with the Obama's, the world isn't coming to an end. All's well.

When you read those 2 paragraphs, it sounds stupid. And it is. But that's what we've done as a nation. The market's up! We're good! The market's down, we're doomed. I understand the market is an indicator, but it's only one indicator. I remember the market going up in times past when companies announced layoffs. You won't convince me that Dow going up=Economic recovery. Not when sometimes people losing jobs makes the market go up. Their economy isn't recovering. But it is useful.

The truths are this: we have some economic hurdles ahead of us. We need to adjust off of this consumption based economy to something that is sustainable. And not just environmentally sustainable, but socially and personally sustainable. Secretary Geithner still needs to go. I know he caught up on his taxes, but if he can't understand the tax system, how will he enforce it? Unless he comes out soon and says it's time to go to an understandable flat tax, or better yet, the proposal, I'm not going to be his biggest fan. Not that he cares.

Your future, in truth, is either going to be found in trusting God for your spiritual, physical, and financial needs, or you're on your own. My whopping $200 of retirement's not going to get me anywhere, is it? No. But some people thought their $2 million would. It didn't, because now it's gone. The things of this earth will not sustain you.

So bottle your anger, make it something productive. Be angry at sin, and go forth to tell people about Jesus. Be angry at greed, and let it make you generous. Generous to the poor, generous to support the work of the mission to tell the world. Be angry with stupidity in politics, which is the fundamental bi-partisan value, and pray, vote, email, call, and do something. Be angry at the mistreatment of the elderly, and go treat them better. Be angry about abortion, and go adopt. Be angry about education, and help improve a school, homeschool your kids, start a free church school. Something.

But let's quit letting Dow Jones tell us if everything is good or bad. He's doesn't see the whole picture.


  1. Good gracious, Doug, you've been busy today!

    At the risk of appearing simple-minded, I have been avoiding the news lately. Well, for several years, to tell the truth.

    Call it "Motherhood Amnesia" if you like, but to some extent I'm just too caught up in what's going on right under my feet to try to keep up with the chaos in politics, the economy, and the world at large.

    I have a feeling that by the time my kids are teenagers I'll have a big gap in my knowledge of what went on in the outside world.

    But, as you said, it's too easy - at least for me - to fall into pinning my hopes on the wrong things. The economy may rise and fall. Tyrants, zealots, and windbags will come and go. But as I helped my son with his AWANA verses, earlier this afternoon, I was glad to be reminded of Psalm 56:3, "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."


  2. I'm overly plugged in to the news. There's almost no need to keep up. It's the same thing, on a loop.

    Good news, bad news, it's the end of the world! Usually I come home and tell Ann 'We're all gonna die!' and she says 'Yeah, so?'

    Mothers have such a better perspective...


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