November 23, 2012: After Thanksgiving Reflection

The table is cleared, the dishes are washed and the refrigerator is packed.  The smells of cooking are dissipating.

The televisions are silent since the parades and games are ended.  Family and friends have gone their separate ways once again.

Super deals from retailers draw people out on Thanksgiving night in search of that special something which will make life that much more enjoyable based on Madison Avenue’s psychological ploys. The seekers jostle with fellow seekers who have ventured into the night hours.

Black Friday rears its shadow over the lands east and west, north and south and every point in between.  The elusive hunt for that societal commodity is engaged.

We may have enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast with delicious relish.  Our coffers, filled to overflowing, reach out to those merchants of commerce to make their day.

However, based on the economic plight of so many people in this country, their Thanksgiving was less joyful than ours.  Being out of work and treading the streets of America in search of elusive employment is a way of life for millions.

In our joyful glee we may not ponder on the fiscal cliff we are racing toward on January 1, but the reality of joy is destined to be replaced by the reality of sadness come the New Year.  The economic indicators are off the scale as each day brings news of businesses closing or downsizing.

I was told that our local regional health care system is facing a financial crisis.  Layoffs and reduced hours and therefore reduced benefits will be hitting the employees in the New Year.  I am sure this is true not only in my neck of the woods but in every community across this land.

With the status quo unchanged in Washington it is easy to be pessimistic that the federal government is as effective as a bicycle on ice-covered roads in winter.  Cooperation and compromise are no longer words in the Washington DC political dictionary.

The stock market affects the global economy.  Based on the news, the global economy is in a mess.

“Change” and “forward” may be catchy political slogans in an election cycle.  They do little to provide for the essentials of the American family living below the poverty line.

The bread and circuses (panem et circenses) political philosophy is still as effective as it was in Ancient Rome.  It does not take much to keep the masses entertained, especially if they are fed with political manna.

However, the eroding economy of the world nations is showing a growing divide between the rich and poor.  Money continues to be the commodity of life.

In the 16th chapter of the Gospel of Luke the Nazarene Teacher told the parable of Dives and Lazarus (the rich and the poor).  Dives lived his life to the fullest extent and never denied himself a thing since money could buy anything in Roman society.

Lazarus, on the other hand, was a beggar who lived outside the gates of Dives’ mansion.  He probably was a leper since the dog licked his sores.  Lepers were the outcasts of society.  They depended on the mercy and goodness of others.

When the scraps from Dives’ table were tossed over the gate, Lazarus and the dogs eagerly shared this human manna.  Dives knew Lazarus and perhaps, in early life they had been friends when growing up.

Usually, one seeks out friends in the time of need.  True friends will be there when your last shekel is gone because genuine friendship is based on something more than money.

Lazarus died and is taken to Abraham’s bosom where there is abundance beyond measure.  Dives dies and finds himself in Hades where wealth and station cannot buy anything.

Calling Abraham across the great gulf of separation between the worlds Dives asks for Lazarus to come to him to relief his discomfort.  Abraham says it is not possible to cross the beach, the great barrier, between the worlds.

This allegory teaches many lessons, but perhaps for this moment the lesson is that your wealth will have little consequence after you have passed from the confines of the planet traversing the cosmos.  What you leave behind will be your legacy.

Especially in your community (outside your mansion gates) the truly sick and needy of the world are always there.  Ignorance of their plight does not excuse one’s obligation.

Life is meant to be lived to the hilt.  To thrive is to enjoy the things of life, but perhaps in the solemnest sense it is what we do for others which will finally matter in the end of the game.

There are no overtimes when death snatches away the life force.  What was cannot be changed.

G. D. Williams       © 2012

Post 413