Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Long Wreck According to Dollar

wreck noun \ˈrek\ n.

Mega Church Preacher Creflo Dollar admonished the members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Seems that Dollar felt that Bishop Long’s church members were being judgmental, not Christian-like and unsupportive when some of them left the church following Long’s undisclosed settlement to the four young men who accused him of sexual coercion.An indepth look at the multiple meanings of the word “wreck” shows that Dollar’s analogy, if not his reasoning, is on point. This was a wreck.

In defense of his friend, Dollar made it seem like Long’s “wreck” was something that people could easily move past. But according to Webster’s Dictionary, a wreck is more than just the fender bender that Dollar alluded to in his recent Sunday sermon.

1: the action of wrecking or fact or state of being wrecked : DESTRUCTION c: a violent and destructive crash

A wreck implies that there was damage, injuries, maybe even fatalities. There is no such thing as a no-fault accident—something caused the collision. And in the world of insurance someone’s going to pay. In this case, Long voluntarily paid for the damages done. Dollar went on to say that Long’s premiums had been paid by the blood of Jesus. Does Dollar have a direct line to Jesus? Was he in on the three-way when Jesus told Bishop, “Don’t worry, I got you.” Often times in an accident, premiums go up. Did Jesus raise Long’s premiums or cancel his insurance? Were the vehicles involved totaled?

2: the broken remains of something wrecked or otherwise ruined c: something disabled or in a state of ruin or dilapidation ;

Dollar accused the parishioners of abandoning their preacher in his time of need. But maybe they thought their spiritual leader was a reckless driver. Perhaps the images of the mangled minds and bodies of the men in the wreck kept them up at night. Did they see the gaping holes in the young men’s souls and decide not to return to New Birth?

3: a person or animal of broken constitution, health, or spirits

An out of court settlement cannot fix what was broken; bring back what was taken. Dollar is right in his assertion that a wreck doesn't mean the end of the world. It is possible to come back after a wreck. So, in this case, let’s pray that Long and his accusers are on the road to recovery.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Price Of Living

$60.11. I stood there staring at the numbers willing them to change. Then I blinked. Nothing happened. $60.11. That’s what it cost me to fill up my 2 door, dull black, in-need-of-antifreeze Honda Accord 2002 Special Edition.
I had seen the prices and had done my fare share of SMH, but the reality of the gas hike hadn’t hit me because I rarely fill up my tank. When I see my car getting low on gas I put in 10 gallons or $40.00 –which ever registers first. But the other day, the gas light was on and I decided to fill up. To say that I was shocked is an understatement.

Because I earn a decent wage and have a manageable amount of debt, I can afford to put gas in my car. But this trip to the gas station cruelly reminded me of our country’s economic downfall and the fragility of my place in the work world. Teaching was always considered a “safe” profession, but with budget deficits looming large, teachers are being let go without the safety net of yester year.
That’s happened to me last year. I went to work on Monday and was out of work by Wednesday of the second week of June with benefits lasting through the end of the month. I took a position that was guaranteed for a year, and now I’m once again looking for employment. For the second time in my 18 years with the Board of Education, I’m teaching summer school—buying time until principals get their budget in July.

If nothing else, the reality check of my $60.11 trip to the gas station will force me to be more resourceful. I’ll put some air in my bike tires and ride my bike if I’m not traveling far. I can ride to the barber shop or the health club. I was a latent driver so I spent a lot of time on buses and trains so, I know that Chicago has an excellent public transportation system that I can utilize. A friend of mine is 50+ years old, doesn’t drive but manages to get anywhere she needs to go via public transportation. And last but not least, I bought a new HD flat screen, got Cable (finally!) I also have a great backyard, so I can create some wonderful stay-cations this year. I might not be able to beat the high cost of gas, but I can improvise.