Content To Do Nothing

I bought an invaluable little book called 30 Second Economics from a Barnes and Noble one day. I’m one of those under-educated commoners they write the “For Dummies” type books for. This is the third part of a three-part blog series on prosperity, for the purposes of promoting a song I wrote called Fort Worth which depicts a time when my Texas cattle ranching family came rumbling out of the dirt poor thirties and into great prosperity. This song is the joy of a twelve-song story album about four generations of my family. As I continued to work on this project, I became aware of the glaring parallels in this story to the story of the American “family” as a whole.

I was put in charge of a family business called Texas Power - a retail electric provider my father and I launched. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy but it was an amazing opportunity to first-hand experience and explore a “relationship-based business model.” Because, as I would learn, all business models are relationship-based. So, back to this little 30 Second Economics book and its “See-Jane-run”-like illustrations, which is the point of the book. This book lays out an explanation of the “50 most thought provoking economic theories" which can each be read in roughly thirty seconds alongside an easy-to-understand visual illustration.

So, it’s 2020 and you’re wondering why half of your friends are starting to sound like Marxists and the other half are starting to sound like greedy, dictatorial White Supremacists, and you can not figure out how everyone could be so screwed up in their thinking. (This little book might help you a bit - maybe.)

And now, finally, for my conclusion on prosperity: I am not an economist or an expert of any kind, I am simply striving to be a responsible commoner here - very much inspired by my cattle ranching family. And I say…

If you are able, you are then obligated to be willing.

Over the years, I have come to firmly believe that it is the will of God and therefore my moral obligation to pursue prosperity - and not only financially, but all other forms of a prosperous life. However, there are four words that help me decide whether or not I will be a part of an economic system or business model in practicing that pursuit . My decision making process starts with this filtering question:

Does it exploit, enable, exclude, or empower?

If it exploits, my answer is no. If it enables, my answer is no. If it excludes, my answer is no. If it empowers, my answer is yes. Now, there are four cans of worms that I could not possibly fully open and unloose within a four minute blog but this is my “30 Second” version. No matter what illustration or articulation I stick my head into for a look-see, these are the four indicators I am initially looking to discern. My only “yes” comes when I perceive that it truly empowers people. So, stare into that with me for a second. Conjure up every solution you can think of. Go ahead, just poke your head in and look into them all for a second and, no matter what system, mindset, moral bar, or philosophy you choose, you will be left with a real problem:

What TO DO about the “Content to do nothing” … (but complain) people. My mind immediately flashes on pre-2020 downtown Seattle. After a few years of deeply heartfelt work in homeless ministry, in which I served and slept in a church basement every Tuesday night with twelve homeless women throughout the winter months and served in three food lines per week, this hippie wannabe bleeding heart of mine had to have an awakening to two biblical concepts:

  1. Pick up your mat and WALK! (John 5:1-18)

  2. Let the dead bury the dead. (Matthew 8:21-22)

And don't misunderstand me, I still have a heart for homeless ministry. Everything we have “to do” here on earth, must, and I mean just must, be rooted in love. I can stare into every proposed philosophy and solution for a thousand years, and I am convinced I could never escape this conclusion - this “only solution” to the problem, no matter how impatient or intolerant I might ever be tempted to become. We must "go in" - into these situations, and among these people, authentically rooted in love, offering truly effective programs, models, advice, encouragement, and assistance that will effectively restore human relationship and hope among the oppressed, the broken, and yes, the offended. And we must "never, never, never, give in" ~Winston Churchill. At the same time, we must learn to cut our losses with those who remain unwilling, refusing help, refusing reconciliation - those content to do nothing, and leave them to God. Just how to do this, is another complex can-of-worms conversation for another time. But, in short, this is my take.

This call to be rooted in love and proactively go in to the world to be “the hands and feet of Jesus” is precisely why I believe it is my moral obligation to diligently pursue prosperity and to be profitable - employing all of both of their various definitions. It is only through it that I, willing and able, can pour into effectively empowering efforts. And due to this long thought-out conviction, I am abundantly proud of, and increasingly inspired by the prosperity and profitability that my Texas cattle ranching family toiled to receive and sustain - a worthwhile cause, worthy of celebration! I tip my hat and scoot my boots to this song as I humbly honor you for your long suffering labors. Lastly, I extend Homer’s encouraging words: “It holds water.”

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose]. (1 Corinthians 15:58 Amplified Version)

I believe it's imperative to see, know, and understand this verse, another absolute favorite. John 10:10 says, The enemy comes to steal, kill. and destroy. But the Lord has come that we might have life!


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