Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.
Imagine you are driving down the highway and money starts floating across your windshield. First, it’s a five-dollar bill, then a ten, maybe a twenty… and it doesn’t stop. Do you pull over? Do you keep driving? This was the scene in Greenville, SC just a few days ago. It seems the driver of an armored truck was just having one of “those” Mondays where nothing went right. By the time the police came, traffic had halted, and drivers were no longer in their cars. They were collecting money!
It must have looked like a group of kids around a broken piñata, and the piñata was the size of the Goodyear Blimp! Yee Ha! The article mentioned that at least one person returned the money. ONE! And the comment section on Facebook was riddled with comments like “Finders keepers” and “Why can’t this happen to me?”
But I ask you, if this had happened to you, would you keep the money? Could you keep the money? You might think that if you kept the cash, it wouldn’t harm anyone. What’s a few dollars to someone who has bags of money? You’d be wrong. If you look deeper into the consequence of greed, you’ll understand what I mean. I’ll let St. John Chrysostom explain.
The sins of the rich, such as greed and selfishness, are obvious for all to see. The sins of the poor are less conspicuous, yet equally corrosive of the soul. Some poor people are tempted to envy the rich; indeed this is a form of vicarious greed, because the poor person wanting great wealth is in spirit no different from the rich person amassing great wealth. Many poor people are gripped by fear: their hearts are caught in a chain of anxiety, worrying whether they will have food on their plates tomorrow or clothes on their backs. Some poor people are constantly formulating in their minds devious plans to cheat the rich to obtain their Wealth; this is no different in spirit from the rich making plans to exploit the poor by paying low wages. The art of being poor is to trust in God for everything, to demand nothing and to be grateful for all that is given. (On Living Simply, Homily 7.)
I’ve seen poor people live well, and I’ve seen rich people live pathetic lives. I’ve also seen the opposite on both counts. What was the deciding factor? Trust in God. Those who lived with the fear of God, either in wealth or poverty, lived a life of Grace. But those who lived in greed and pride were miserable. It’s like the psalm we sing when we bless the five loaves…
“The rich grow poor and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:11
I used to think it meant that wealth is temporary, so we should focus on that which is eternal. And it probably does. But it can also mean the rich (and poor) will never be satisfied until they seek the Lord. What do you think?
I hope that if you ever see money falling from the sky, you will return it to the rightful owner and be at peace with what God has already given you.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+