Even the experts could not agree. So-called financial experts all have their own opinions and analysis on whom and what caused the great financial crisis the world is experiencing and all you need to do is so surf the channels and you will know what I mean. Some blame Wall Street, others the financial institutions. But the most popular question to date is what will happen to Maine Street? Will it recover? How soon and when?
Our country has been heavily affected. My friends in the jewelry, home décor and furniture businesses and a great many of them have felt the crunch. And just when we all thought that we have not been hit so hard Ondoy and Pepeng came. Life will no longer be the same. There will have to be adjustments as we face the New Normal.
The thoughts hit me as I stayed in San Francisco for a couple of days last week. For seventy years since World War II much of Western society, America in particular, has ridden an incredible wave of prosperity with several recessions along the way. Although up and down economies are part of the financial cycle, the crisis the world is now experiencing is of a wider global scale and is expected to last longer than the previous recession the world has experienced.
I watched the news on TV. Guess what I saw? There is still a continuous bombardment of car ads, telecom ads, apparel and even real estate. This got me thinking. For the last decades the world has gone into a credit card binge. Just swipe it, and make sure you get that thing that would make you at par with the joneses. And the whole world has bought into the great marketing ploy that delivers the message that if we do not have their products or use them we would remain second-class. Suddenly, the things we have are just not enough. What used to be God’s blessings upon us has dissolved into a culture of coveting driven by greediness and materialism. Our desires became bigger than our wallets. We no longer live within our means. This is not a very good thing. Here is something for all of us to think about. Ask yourself, “How simple is my life compared to 5 or 10 years ago?” Yes, while we have developed the skills of Multi-tasking, what we should not develop is to have multi-billings and killer interest that place chains on us as real as iron shackles. If there is one thing that the killer floods have taught is it is to reassess our lives and go back to the basics.
We need to simplify. Want a bigger house? You need more helpers to clean it. Want an expensive European car? You need more money to maintain it. Want everything money can buy? Where are you going to keep it? Clutter everywhere does not refresh us and meanwhile, when the new car smell disappears and the Hermes and Channel bags hit the closet, we realize that those things no longer make us happy. Most people learn to tighten their belts and go into cost-cutting mode only when they hit trouble. Why not do it now while the funds and money are still coming in on a regular basis?
In other words, simplify…simplify…simplify. It is time for all of us to go back to basics and ask what is essential and what is non-essential regarding the quality of life and not simply the quantity of the “things”—yes the “stuff”—listed on our credit card statements.
We got to get out of the rat race and find the true Source for joy and happiness. Learn to live happily in simplicity.
And if the flood has hit you remember you need to be strong and recover. You need to get your bail out plan from God. He wants you to live a life of fullness. This is why Jesus promised that those who are weary and heavily laden find rest in Him. Do not just move on, you need to move up. Yesterday ended last night. The worst hour is only sixty minutes. Many of those who have suffered during the Asian financial crisis some twelve years ago have recovered. Put your trust in God, move on and move up. I remember saying this during the Asian crisis situation in 1997. I realize this is now the appropriate time for me to say it again. Do not focus on the word crisis. Focus instead on the words: Christ Is!