Pentecost +2 – Year A
"You cannot serve God and wealth." A recent movie exemplifying this is Redbelt by David Mamet. God here might be defined as personal integrity, but, however you spell it, the issue is one that is contemporary in every culture and economic system.
If you can neither serve G*D (the good I want, I don't; what I don't want, I do) nor wealth (there is always someone more sneaky, more wealthy) we are pushed back to the wisdom of Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 [The Message:
"The one who loves money is never satisfied with money,
Nor the one who loves wealth with big profits. More smoke.
"The more loot you get, the more looters show up.
And what fun is that—to be robbed in broad daylight?
"Hard and honest work earns a good night's sleep,
Whether supper is beans or steak.
But a rich man's belly gives him insomnia.
"Here's a piece of bad luck I've seen happen:
A man hoards far more wealth than is good for him
And then loses it all in a bad business deal.
He fathered a child but hasn't a cent left to give him.
He arrived naked from the womb of his mother;
He'll leave in the same condition—with nothing.
This is bad luck, for sure—naked he came, naked he went.
So what was the point of working for a salary of smoke?
All for a miserable life spent in the dark?
"After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live."
When you can't move into the future (G*D) or live with the past (accumulated wealth), there isn't much left than the present – so, don't worry, enjoy. This may be what is meant by the difficult task outlined of "striving" for the presence of G*D. In a moment of enjoyment all that is necessary will be found.