It’s interesting to Google yourself every one in a while.

I just did this tonight and found an article that I wrote for the Student Leadership Journal from InterVarsity (IV) back in 2001. They publish the Journal online, but hadn’t updated back issues until this last July, it seems. Good to see something I wrote on a site other than this one.

The article was based on something I wrote for the precursor to this site that a good friend of mine strongly encouraged that I publish somehow. Another friend suggested sending it to IV and the rest is history (or at least recorded on the web).

Having read it, I think it’s pretty good. It’s also amazing to see where things have gone since then. I now own two video game systems, a PlayStation 2 and an Xbox, and am a subscriber to Xbox Live and owner of 12 games, two of which were gifts. In other areas, I own a digital camera and some equipment to go with it, a small stereo system, and the “regular” items of the electronic persuasion one finds in a somewhat normal household.

So how do I justify these in light of my earlier article? Well, for one, I know more now than I did then and am less stressed out about money than I used to be. Part of that comes from having more of it, but also from having learned that being stressed about money or possesions can be another way of putting them before God. It boils down to the fact that what I do with my money is what matters.

I’ll type that again, just for kicks. It matters more what I do with my money. My actions and inactions are what causes money to be something to be concerned about, not the money itself. Cash may bring temptations, but how we act is what determines the right or wrong of the situation. And even then, who can say if my buying an Xbox was a good decision? Qualifying that action is extremely subjective from the start.

There’s a difference I see in myself now and the person who wrote that article. The tone of that article is of a person worrying about whether he will do the right thing or not, if God will smile upon his actions and deliver a booming, “Well done!” from a thundercloud. In the years since then, I’ve grown more into (and am still growin into) a person who simply tries to do his best knowing that it will likely not be perfect. It’s the difference between spending time qualifying the action and spending time doing the action. Taking time for thought is wonderful, but if the thought stops the decision to act or not to act, then what is the point?

What matters is doing right as best as I can see it, making up for the mistakes as they become apparent, and remembering that God loves me from the highest points in heaven to the darkest pit of hell and there is not one thing, or many things, I can do that would alter that in the slightest.

And beleiving that is just step one.