Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Trust and I get just what I need
Why do money issues make me crazy? I consider it a necessarily evil tool and read recently that our financial system was established centuries ago as a means for English kings to finance war. I’m no royalty, live in modern times and have no taste for war (who really does?). No wonder.
It’s funny, I have a plethora of ideas for things to do with my life, but virtually none involves MAKING money, most are "helping" kinds of activities. Sometimes I wish I were independently wealthy, but I am sure that has its drawbacks and hardships (or, at least, that’s what I tell myself).
Lately, I have trouble with the idea of stockpiling: saving for college, retirement, a rainy day ... whatever. I’ve done it, but am re-evaluating if it really has any integrity or meshes with my beliefs of what Spirit calls me to do. I know the cultural wisdom says to save (not sure too many have listened given our current economic status), but the cultural wisdom spews a lot that isn’t very wise.
There’s an interesting young man, Shane Claiborne [www.thesimpleway.org], whose middle-class mindset was vastly altered after spending time with Mother Teresa in Calcutta’s slums.* He’s since traveled to some of the most troubled spots in the world and come home to Philadelphia to live with the poorest of the poor. All because he feels that’s where and how God call us. He wrote about a health alliance in Ohio of people, regular people, who pool their money and pay each others' bills and it works. Without health insurance. Imagine!
I have always detested the idea of paying for something that may never happen, but have bought into that over the years. Insurance is a vast money-sucking hole and I can’t look at what I could have done with that money or it would make me sick. It already has (the crazy part, I wrote about earlier).
When I get crazy, I have to remind myself to practice gratitude and remember I have always had enough and just what I needed (usually more.)
One of the most broken points in my life happened when I discovered I was supposed to be in Philadelphia at School of the Spirit on that day and not a week later, when I had made plane reservations, arranged childcare, etc. I had no option but to totally surrender.
Thankfully, my wonderful spouse helped me re-book the ticket and got me on my way the next day. It was whirlwind preparations as I had a major paper due; somehow I had finished it early. There were three flight delays in getting there and when I finally reached the comfort of my room, I realized the only thing I had forgotten was dental floss. “Oh, well,” I thought. I opened the drawer to put my clothes away to discover one, unopened package of mint (my favorite) floss just lying there. And this thought rang through my head:
“Trust and I will give you what you need.”
Why do I need a constant reminder of that?
• What are my "hot" buttons?
• Can I reconcile them with how Spirit calls me to live?
• Who are examples of how I desire to live?
• How do I follow those in my own life?
• Can I remember a time I truly trusted Spirit?
*I love Shane's story about how he made those arrangements. He wrote a letter, then waited and waited, finally getting in touch with a nun in the Bronx, who gave him a number and asked that he not share it. He made a point to place the call at a decent time in India, only to be answered by a whispy voice. It was not the grand greeting he had anticipated. He explained that he and a group wanted to speak with the Sisters of Charity or Mother Teresa about an internship. That voice WAS Mother Teresa and she simply said, “Come.”