[Western Wall]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 15: Evening


What skills it, if a bag of stones or gold

About thy neck do drown thee? raise thy head;

Take starres for money; starres not to be told

By any art, yet to be purchased.

   None is so wastefull as the scraping dame.

   She loseth three for one; her soul, rest, fame.

     Does it matter if it is a bag of stones around your neck that drowns you or a bag of gold? Raise your head; take stars for money; stars not to be counted by any skill that can be purchased. No one is so wasteful as a money grabbing woman. She loses three for one: her soul, her rest and her fame.

     She loses her soul, rest and fame for money. That is the bargain. Is it worth it? She (and we should add "he" for the sake of equality) may be in a business environment or a family situation. She wants to make the best of the deal for her job and the support of her family. She finds herself making these decisions every day. For money, even riches, she gives up her spiritual nature, her satisfaction as a person and her benefit to other people. She (and he) believe that money solves everything, that riches deserve status recognition and that wealth is happiness. She pursues her identification with this world and abandons her fame with God. She relinquishes the peace and fulfillment of her soul by her energetic covetousness and smiling envy. If you have to relinquish all you are born to be and all you can become, will you give it up? You can drown in such a deal.

     Do not be weighed down by riches, but raise your head above the lower worlds. Take stars for money; take heaven for riches. We become so caught up in the living of this world that we forget about living eternally. There is more for you in heaven than can be added up by the most expensive computer.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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