Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Are you worth $120 million?

Sometimes I drink in the Universe, God, a wonder crafted by your hands. I try to take in the moon, and I reach deep to comprehend the scope of your work in the bright splash of stars. So I ask myself, how is it possible to account for the fact of your interest in human life, and your care for people? Nevertheless, you have placed us in a position that is close to divinity, and you have made a crown that is crafted from glory and placed on our heads with signal honor. (Psalm 8:3-5, Maul paraphrase)

One news item that's been beaten to death in the media this morning focused on a new contract hammered out for a star baseball player. The big question, apparently, was "Why did he leave $30 million on the table?"

Evidently the pitcher likes Philadelphia more than New York. Not only that but the Yankee fans had been rude to his wife. Then - and this was a little absurd - "Housing isn't so expensive around Philly."

But my favorite observation was this. "It all goes to show that it's not  really about the money."

Now, just for clarification, you need to understand that this guy didn't accept $1 million instead of $31 million. He also didn't turn down $40 million and go with a paltry $10 million. No, what happened was he said, "No thank you" to a $150 million offer and went with the $120 M and the cheap housing.

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking the availability of more affordable properties is not going to be a serious issue when you have a guaranteed $120,000,000 in your contract. And, by the way, that word guaranteed means that he will - if he pitches at all well - in actuality earn considerably more. Plus endorsements. Plus book deals.... etc. etc.

Today's reading from my Christmas book, In My Heart I Carry A Star: stories for Advent, addresses the idea of "What Am I Worth?" I write about how amazingly significant we are - each one of us - without regard to any fact other than the truth that God loves us.

We are affirmed so completely because we are chosen so specifically. The Creator of this vast, glorious universe chooses to reveal love for people as individual human beings. We are God's personal children. We surely are significant, and we certainly are loved.

It's not all about us! But we still try to craft this world where people depend on the illusion of control. There is, however, a significant fly in our ointment: we are not alone in this Universe. We are utterly significant, certainly, but it's not because of us; it's because of Great Love. The amazing God of creation loves us.

In my book (ha ha, get it?), the fact of God's unremitting love is worth a whole lot more than $120 million....

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