That old Cheech and Chong movie was on the television on Sunday afternoon. I remember that film from the eighties when I watched it for the first time as a teenager. It felt like a bit of an antique then, because it referenced an era during the seventies when, literally, "things [were] tough all over." Two funny guys, a bit too obsessed with the pursuit of the next high, were moving from vignette to vignette, trying to get by...and all the while they were sitting on a load of dough.
It sounds odd to find resonance with that image as I ponder stewardship this year, but the idea of those two hapless guys sitting on all that wealth strikes me as a great metaphor for the Church's struggle with finding financial support. We have made it so hard on ourselves to talk about money. So much of our lives are chewed up with just getting by. When someone approaches in a challenging way the manner in which we make fiscal decisions, we don't just get stressed...we get angry.
And we all hate angry. Thing is, are we angry at the person asking? Angry at the institutions that are in need and are dependent on voluntary support to meet budget and realize vision? Angry with the people who ask poorly, or without requisite sensitivity? Or, are we angry at our own paralysis in resetting personal financial goals?
Laura and I want to adopt. It will cost money. Money is tight anyway with buying a house and getting started in a new community. Now, Trinity needs us. The Seminary needs us. The diocese will need us soon, too. What comes first? How do we embrace all that need? Don't forget the hurrican victims!
What would Jesus do?!?