Oct 27, 2008

Oh the ups and downs

I love roller coasters. I love the ups and downs. But what I really like is the old wooden roller coasters. When we lived in Denver we use to go to an old amusement park called Elich's. Way in the back there was an old rickety wooden roller coaster. It looked like it might not survive the day and I think that made riding it all the more fun. If you go to any modern amusement park you'll find all sorts of new slick rides. These new rides are fast and furious but they can't beat an old wooden roller coaster.


But there is one roller coaster I could do without: the United States economy. I believe in the last few weeks we've seen not only record-setting gains, but record-setting losses. It's enough to make you queasy. It makes me wonder if the American economy is more like the sleek roller coaster gliding along with a few ups and downs or the old rickety roller coaster that might not see the light of another day.


They're saying this is the worst economic crisis since the great depression. I have no idea. At election time, people will say just about anything. I sometimes wonder if the election process itself causes instability in the markets. All we hear about is how bad it is now and how much greater it will be if so and so gets elected. The more gloomy a candidate can paint things, the more he can show how his plan can fix things. If indeed some of the market gloom is due to the election, November 4th can't come quick enough. The ride is getting too long and I want to get off!


I heard that during the great depression people used to hide their money under the mattress. On the surface, that may sound like a good idea but it does have some faults. Knowing how absent-minded I am, I would probably forget where I put the money. I can't tell you how many times I lose things that I have misplaced. Even if you remembered where you put the money, it might not be there when you go to retrieve it.


That happened to an unidentified man in Jackson, Missouri. He put about $1000 worth of twenty dollar bills in an unzipped vinyl bag and placed it on his desk at home. After the recent flooding, he found the bag but the money had been eaten by rats. All that was left was shredded money and rat droppings. He took the mess to the bank and asked if they could do anything. The bank is trying to recover the serial numbers. As long as they can identify those, they can replace the money. I suppose the lesson here is to put your money in something that can't get eaten. Maybe gold or silver would do the trick. But even these precious metals are not immune from the ups and downs of the economy.


But Jesus has some wise words on all of this. He said not to store up our treasures on earth where moth, rust or the economy can decay. He proposes that we should store up our treasures in the heavenly bank. This bank is backed by the full force of God and no one will ever lose their treasures here. And because Jesus paid all the bank fees, you and I have a gold-plated safety deposit box with our name on it forever.


The economy will always go up and down. There is no way to avoid it. But one thing that will never decline is the love of Jesus for us.




Pastor David Hook

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