Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Made Them So Wise

When the Christmas hubbub is past, and people are getting comfortable in their old routines, embracing again the mundane after too much of a good thing, January sixth comes quietyly, and Latin-American children reach under their beds to see if the wise men left them a gift.

There were indeed magi, wise men who sought the Christ. Men who mapped out a journey and traveled far, long, hard. They were probably tired and smelled like their animals they way my kids used to smell like dog when they played outside. But they bowed in worship anyway. They were filled with rejoicing anyway. They let no earthly journey keep them from a holy destination. And they gifted the baby the best of earthly goods. Gold, the gift for royalty. frankinsence, a gift due a priest, and myrrh, an embalming spice for preparation of death. Much has been made of the gifts, their possible meanings, forebodings, and symbolisms.

But today, I think of gold becasue I can relate to that one. Let's face it, frankinsence and myrrh are really a thing of the past, ancient unfamiliar things I had to look up in the dictionary to make sure I spelled properly.

Gold. We diversify our retirement accounts with it, accessorize ourselves with it, and now run to it when our faith in the stock market wavers. It belongs to the wealthy, so we wear it as a status symbol and save it for a rainy day.  In Wall Street jargon it's a commodity, something physical with intrinsic value for trade or commerce. It's not a service, a stock or a bond, and it's not insured by our federal government. It no longer backs our money because at one time U.S. currency was as good as gold. There's even a phrase "as good as gold."

It's the standard by which all other things are valued, even in modern times. And it was laid at the feet of an infant-eternal King, because a brand new standard for measuring worth had been born.

So how are those New Year's Resolutions coming along? Did you make them comparing yourself to magazine covers, your best friend, your cubicle mate? Have you already broken them?

Could it be because you're scale is weighted with the wrong counter balance? Go ahead, I dare you. Lay your life, your expectations, your short-comings, all your earthly goods at Jesus' feet. Be a wise man. Your life will indeed balance out, because He's the new Gold Standard.

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