Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Monday, December 24, 2012

It is Christmas Eve. I was thinking about the words of Christ when he said things like money being the root of all evil and how a rich man should give away everything he owns and follow Jesus. I don't think of myself as rich. I'll bet most Americans don't. We think of the 1% or the 5% as rich and have other terms for ourselves. If, however, I wanted to live anywhere near so well as I do now and do it in the years 0031-0032-0033 I would need to have a bunch of servants. It is winter and now I have a mechanical servant to heat my house. To heat a house in this weather in the year ad 31 I would need servants to cut wood, tend the stove, haul the ashes day and night. To have lights come on very quickly I would need servants to make candles or collect lamp oil and to follow me about, lighting lamps in every room I enter. To travel the 15 minutes each way I traveled tonight, in comfort, I'd need servants. Someone would have to hitch up the animals, heat stones to put in my carriage to keep me warm, Guide the animals. You can see where this is going. By the standards of those day I am stinky rich. I don't carry water these days, or put up enough wood for more than the occasional fire. I don't hunt, fish or garden. I know a magic person who can fix dental cavities painlessly. I have a device that flushes all my personal waste away to some underground . . . . . place. When I worked I only worked a maximum of five 10 hour days except in real emergencies. Now I have a stipend provided by the government, paid for by me. I can visit foreign nations with little more effort than a trip across town in the year 31. With all the mechanical servants I have now replaced by people would require a mess of minions working just for my benefit. So how can I claim to want to follow the words of Christ? I'm rich and I don't want to give it up. Sure Bill Gates and Mitt and Newt have more money than I but I am still, by any historical standard, filthy stinking rich. Just how narrow is the eye of the needle? Sometimes I think that any Christian with more than 2 suits of clothing is a fraud. Verily, it is a quandary. Am I so arrogant as to think I can live like an American and expect to go to heaven? What colossal hubris! Maybe there's some wiggle room to compensate for being born lucky. I'll always be glad I was around during a great era of toys for boys. From pinball machines to motorcycles, from guns to ATVs there are a lot of great toys out there. Sports car, fishing boats, ski boats, big screen TVs. How many people would I have to keep around just to provide me with full time entertainment of a thousand varieties? When Americans talk about possibly having to pay a bit more taxes to provide programs to take care of people they generally seem to believe that more taxes should come from someone else. In order to even pretend to live like Christ commanded I would need to work about half time and learn to live on half what I make now. That would free me up to devote half my time to helping others. Or if I wanted to keep working full time I could give half my money to pay people to help those in need. The argument that I already give through taxes does not absolve me since what I keep is more than I need. Since most of the highly needy don't live around here it would be better for me to hire people for the most part and I'll
just do what I can around here. Someone else could bring food to Kenya. I don't do that. I like being rich and I don't want to give half my time or half my money away. I damn sure don't want to give it all away and follow some prophet. I can't resolve this issue in any way that makes sense. So once again I will celebrate Christmas. Just so I don't have to act like He is real. That would call down too much of a burden and I like being rich. Can I still get to heaven?

1 Comments:

Blogger Greybeard said...

What Paul actually wrote to Timothy was that "The LOVE of money is the root of evil."
Christ wanted us to live life and live it ABUNDANTLY. Richness, as you have pointed out, can be defined in MANY ways. I think we will be judged not on whether or not we are rich, (because virtually everyone living in the U.S. is rich compared to our global neighbors), but how we use and share our riches with others.
So, my motorcycle riding brother, don't beat yourself up. Provide support and comfort to those around you that need and won't waste it. And go to bed with a smile on your face, knowing you are rich enough to do it without harm to your own family.

Thanks for making me think.

2:38 PM  

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