Thursday, February 22, 2007

T-Shirt #2.5

From GH in Spanish Fork, UT -

I’m just going to have to disagree with the entire premise of this essay even though I completely believe in everything Minuscar stands for. Minus is not the new plus. Minus has been the plus for a long time; it’s just that many are just figuring it out (me included).

In the beginning plus was plus because before the creation there wasn’t anything yet so there was no way to have minus. Not too long after the beginning Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. Surely the Garden of Eden was a better garden than the Jones’ have. Then Adam and Eve made choices that caused them to be expelled from the Garden of Eden. The earth was certainly a step down from the Garden of Eden, but if Adam and Eve hadn’t taken that step, we wouldn’t exist. That step down was a step forward for God’s entire plan. Minus was the plus.

Over 2000 years ago the Israelites were waiting for the coming of a Messiah. They were looking for a leader to come rescue them from Roman rule so they could inherit their promised land. They were waiting for a political leader who was powerful enough to overthrow Roman rule. What they got was the carpenter’s son who was meek and humble. He did not overthrow the Romans; in fact, it was the Romans that carried out his execution. In his humble way he left us with the perfect example and freed us from sin. Although not as impressive as overthrowing the Romans, providing a perfect example and remission of sins is far more powerful than defeating the Romans. Minus was the plus.

During Jesus’ ministry on earth a wealthy man asked him what he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus responded that he needed to keep the 10 commandments. The rich man said that he already did that. Jesus then told him that he should sell all of his possessions and give to the poor. The man had to give up earthly wealth in order to obtain eternal wealth. Minus was the plus. But, as is often true today, the wealthy man was more interested in his many possessions than he was in the eternal wealth that comes with using your possessions to help those who have less.

As I look into my own life, I can look back at many instances when my family had considerable money and times when my mom went hungry so I could eat (I was too young to recognize she was doing this until later). The times when my family had money do not correlate with the times when my family was happy. In fact, it is an inverse correlation, the times we were the happiest were the times we were the poorest.

When I started my own family I wanted to give them everything (I’m a slow learner). We had quite a bit, but the day I got rid of the TV was the start of my big gifts to my family. Starting on that day I had more time to spend with them in meaningful activity. In the last few years we have really pared down on “stuff” and increased time spent together doing creative things. Last summer I made the big step of selling my car so that all of our errands had to be run with one car. Now we rarely drive the one that we have. This year I will put more miles on my bike than are put on the car.

Minus is the plus. It always has been. Eventually, as people strive to get more; those who know how to do without will have the most valuable knowledge available.

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