Monday, October 6, 2008

Toxic Assets

I heard on the radio today that the Treasury Secretary, with his $700 billion dollar billfold, will now begin the job of buying off the toxic assets of the banks. What was that? “Toxic assets?” Is this just some more mumbo-jumbo? I guess it is easier for the President to look us in the camera and tell us the government is spending our children’s tax money to buy toxic assets, rather than telling us we’re actually getting “bad debts.”

Then it struck me. This economic crisis, like most crises, is causing more people to turn to their spiritual roots. You know how that is. No one wants the Church to be present in the public section - until everyone suddenly realizes they need God after all. But anyway, maybe Secretary Paulson and his minions see the spiritual significance of this time and plan to lead the way with an old fashioned spiritual soul-cleansing!

The Church has known for centuries the importance of fasting, self-denial, simple living, and contemplative prayer in order to make room for faith to grow. We even have prescribed seasons for such (Lent obviously, and Advent, surprisingly to most people) so that we are spiritually trimmed and ready for the big celebrations of Easter and Christmas. Those spiritual practices and seasons have been put in place to help us remove the toxic assets from our lives.

Maybe our toxic assets aren’t the exact same as those the banks have out for the yard sale right now, but we’ve got them. We have added behaviors, attitudes, guilts and “things” to our lives that are acting as poisons (toxins) to our soul survival.

We have picked up too many toxic thoughts. We bought the idea that being beautiful was an asset. But then Madison Avenue and Hollywood defined beauty as a starved and stark 18-year-old model with flawless skin, thus poisoning the self-image of girls and women all over the country. We added the concept that “more is better,” from “Biggie Burgers” to “Mega-whatever.” So now, even with “more than enough” of entertainment, food, techno-gadgets, and connections, most people don’t feel they are living a happy or satisfied life.

Yep, time for some soul-cleansing. Time to get rid of those toxic assets that are slowly killing us. But we'll really have to work our Congressional members to get them to pass another bail-out bill, cause the price of this one is going to dwarf the $700 billion current one. Oh, that's right, I forgot. The price has already been paid.


Syd said...

Very well said. Thanks we needed that.

roadtripray said...

I'm teaching a 5-week study on Methodist history and theology. Last night I pointed out a parallel (although admittedly a lopsided parallel) between the 18th century England that prompted the Wesleys to reach out to the masses for Christ and our current situation where many feel a sense of despair about their financial circumstances.

I think we as a church should be even more committed to spreading the hope and love of the gospel message as a result of the pain others are experiencing. People are longing for good news, and the gospel message of God's sacrifice is the ultimate good news!


Conway said...

You are "the man". I love when you zing me. To make me think and be thankful and to KNOW who is in control if we let HIM be the pilot and not the co-pilot. And YES, the price HAS been paid!