Since I live in SoCal there is never a shortage of really cool things to do. Recently I went with a friend to church in Irvine (Orange County CA) and it was a super cool experience that made me really think about life and how good it really is. I think that here in America we have gotten kinda spoiled and think that if we don’t have a brand new car and a huge house then we’re in poverty. At least that’s how it feels sometimes.
When the pastor was teaching I couldn’t help but think about how if the same God who puts us all on the planet is the same for everyone, then why do some people seem to be way happier and have less while those who have more seem to be full of anxiety and more unhappy? It’s one of the puzzling problems that I have noticed when it comes to the “haves and the have nots.” Having a lot of possessions is supposed to be a blessing, like Abraham in the Bible. But if it really is a blessing then why aren’t we happier? I can only deduce one answer; that the possessions have us, we don’t have them.
My brother says that “money is a great servant but a horrible master.” I think the main issues that we face in the western culture is that we think that the more we have, the happier we will be. So we work super hard for things, then take out credit cards or lines of credit from a mortgage or whatever, then we become slaves to the debt. The borrower is slave to the lender, and I think that one of the fundamental elements of happiness is freedom – but if you’re a slave to debt then your money and “stuff” owns you.
So where does God fit in to all this? I suppose he gives us the option to get as much stuff as we want but if we do it our way, out of stupidity, selfishness and greed, then I think there’s some sorrow that comes with it. If there’s no sorrow added to wealth, then it is truly a blessing. In order to be a blessing, you money can’t own you and that’s one of the key lessons I learned in church that day. I also really felt great after leaving, like everything in my life was about to get way better because I sensed a deep spiritual connection with God that I thought left me when I was younger. Anyways, that is my thought on money, culture and God