Saturday, November 15, 2008

If we are fortunate, much good might come from doing without

An Interesting Opinion piece on the possible spiritual benefits of the current financial crisis. Tom Ehrich is an Episcopal Priest in Indianapolis.

I am telling church leaders that it is time to let go of old anxieties, especially self-centered fussing and stale traditions, and to focus instead on being lean, efficient and self-sacrificial enterprises that are dedicated to serving others. Too many congregations are strangling on yesterday's bickering and priorities.

There are so are many families and businesses with arguments that don't end and business models that don't work. We all need fresh starts.

In fact, when we stand back, I think we will see why we ran up $2.3 trillion in personal debts: We were trying to escape ourselves and the difficult decisions that we needed to make in order to have peace and meaning in our lives.

We have tried to live without God. We have tried not to see our skills, blessings -- indeed, our very existence -- as God-given assets entrusted to our care, but rather as economic engines for amassing worldly wealth. In our world-view, we weren't engaged in a dynamic transaction with a living God. We were living as we chose, and if we turned to God at all, it was only as a last resort.

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