They Say These Times Are Hard

2

So supposedly we’re in hard economic times.  Jobs are few and far between.  No one is safe even if they’ve worked in a job for 30 years.  Having excess money is a thing of the past…or so I’m told.

Tonight I’m up in a hotel in Peoria, IL to head to a website training all day tomorrow.  The hotel that I’m staying at also happens to be a casino.  I decided to go visit for a little bit.  That’s where all the restaurants were, so why not.  Right?  The majority of my time was spent walking around just taking it all in.  There was a slots tournament getting ready to start.  I accidentally walked into the line, and it looked like I was cutting.  I never thought I’d get beat up by anyone over the age of 70, but tonight I kinda felt like I needed to run for my life.  It wasn’t just one old lady.  There were tons of them.  It would have been a mob chasing after me with their walkers, wheelchairs and canes.

Seriously.

I remember my first trip to Vegas and being excited by all the flashing lights and sounds.  Tonight it just gave me a headache.  Fortunately, once I got away from the tournament of old people, I found a $.01 Price is Right slot machine.  You wouldn’t think you could lose too much money on a $.01 slot machine, but you feel like, hey, I’m only betting $.01.  Why not quadruple my bet to better my chances of winning more money.  Or at least that’s the way I think.

I used to really enjoy the whole casino atmosphere.  I don’t know how much I like it now.  Tonight is the first time I’ve ever walked out of a casino with less money in my pocket than when I went in.  I have always won.  Oh, well.

One thing I’ve learned is everything is better with friends, whether you’re sitting on a porch enjoying the evening or going to a casino to play the slots.  Definitely take your friends.

Number two, for a down economy people sure are spending money like crazy down here…and not just at the casino either.  At the complex there was a deli, a buffet and a steakhouse.  The menu for the steakhouse was on the wall, so I checked it out.  Thought I might treat myself to a nice steak.  I love filet mignon (don’t even know if I spelled that right).  But I’m not going to pay $45 for 8 ounces.  I’m sorry.  The thing is, though, that place was busy.

Of course it wasn’t as busy as the buffet.  I kind of think a casino and a buffet go hand-in-hand.  They’re both big problems in over-indulgence.  What is it with our society that we have to keep making things bigger and more expensive and more fattening?  I’m as big a fan as anyone of the phrase “go big or go home,” but I don’t think that was first said in regards to how much we eat.

Today gas is at the highest it’s been in a while in my hometown, or so I hear.  $3.95/gallon.  No fun.  Did I see any fewer cars on the road?  No.  I-57 and I-74 in Illinois were as busy as I’ve ever seen them.  Okay.  So I’d never been on I-74 before, but 57 was crazy busy as usual.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of having plenty, but never having enough.  I’m tired of always wanting the newest thing and the best and brightest.  I’m tired of walking by someone I know is in need and not doing anything about it.

I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have anything to give.

I’m tired of believing the lie that what I do doesn’t matter.

I’m tired.

So tonight I’m resting.  I’m resting in the fact that I know deep in my core that I was created for this.  This day.   This hour.  This minute.

We’re here to love and be loved, to teach and be taught and to never fail to show the love of Jesus to a world in need.

I was created for this.

Quit believing the lies.

You were created for this, too.

About the author

  • The Motions by Matthew West. Great song that always challenges me. Am I going through the motions of this life trying to be like ‘everyone else’ or am I being like Jesus? It’s good to see others thinking the same way.

    • Man, I love that song!