Posts Tagged ‘priorities’

All That Glitters…

Friday, July 7th, 2006

“We had realized the American Dream and were living a very expensive lifestyle, where it is difficult to turn off the spigot.”
– Kenneth Lay (1942-2006)

The spigot was shut off on July 5. Life, no matter how full of accomplishments or adorned with beauty, is ultimately futile and disappointing unless it is God-focused. The tragic death of Ken Lay–once highly respected, now disgraced–and widowing of his wife Linda–once ensconced in luxury, now bereft of lavish lifestyle and life companion–reminded me of a verse (The Perfect Couple) I wrote some time ago…

Careful attention to every detail marks him as a meticulous man.
From precision in slitting open his mail to eclat even opening a can.
Every hair smartly styled, every muscle controlled,
Shoes gleaming like bright mirrored tables;
His immaculate shell neatly houses a soul mired deep in muck from the stables.

Perky, pert, professional–the blending of two worlds.
She does it all and does it well, from charts to stylish curls.
Her softly tailored slate-grey suit
Accents her light grey eyes;
Her poised perfection’s absolute–and every day she dies.

What you see ain’t always what you get. Dr. Lay’s obituary reports that the bereaved family takes “comfort in the knowledge that he is in the loving presence of the one true Judge.” Attorneys argue that Lay’s death will wipe out his criminal conviction on conspiracy and fraud charges. Former Enron employees and shareholders voice strong opinions about his death, some even suggesting that the whole thing is a dark conspiracy to help the “deceased” avoid paying the devil his due.

Fortunately, a blind hog doesn’t have to weigh in on such already weighty matters. In the apparently smooth and well-tended landscape of expensive lifestyles where many–like Ken Lay–have experienced life and death, God has scattered, among the lush green weeds and glittery debris, one or two meaty acorns: half-buried nuggets of wisdom for a blind hog to root out.

  • All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall… (see I Peter 1:24, Isaiah 40: 6-8). Lavish lifestyles, powerful friends, even the “middle-class luxuries” of the American dream are at best fragile flowers.
  • The Lord redeems His children from destruction, crowns them with love and compassion, satisfies their desires with good things, and fills them with joy in His presence… (see Psalm 16:10, 103:4,5). The only things that satisfy come from God.

The Lord says to us, “Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you…sure, solid, enduring love.” (Isaiah 55:2-3, The Message)

Even a blind hog can learn from the Enron morality play.