Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recession - Economic and Spiritual

I subscribe to an art e-zine that comes twice weekly and provides hints to improve my art, my enjoyment and the marketing of it. Most recently the October 7, 2008 topic was “Art in Hard Times.” It is a response to artists’ concerns about the economy. Robert Genn is the author and artist and originator of The Painter’s Keys online newsletter. His comments prompted me to consider other implications. Genn wrote that in his experience, investment and collector art can continue to thrive in bad times. He suggests that “Recessions are blessings. Historically, recessions and depressions have been times when "important" work gets made. Realistically, our financial outlay for equipment and art materials (unless your medium is gold) is relatively minor. In hard times artists need to get themselves as debt free as possible and invest in the joy of their vision.”

Recession! The word sends chills up the businessman's back. Do the evaporation of bank credit, the drop of home values and stock market uncertainties trouble you? The US Congress would not have changed its mind about passing the bailout package if the majority had remained unconvinced of its necessity. The step was taken to stem off economic recession. Some people however, believe the US is already in recession. Technically a recession consists of two consecutive down quarters in the gross national product. That has not yet happened. I have examined the competing opinions of journalists, economists and politicians with regard to the economic position in which the USA particularly and my country of Canada presently find themselves.

Sorry. I can’t help myself. Bill Maher would ridicule me. I was a preacher for so long. I am not any longer but I still see parallels between spiritual and economic observations such as I cited. I am also a follower of Christ, so it’s natural and beneficial for me to examine transferable concepts. New Testament writer of the book of James wrote in his fourth chapter verse 13-17, wrote about spiritual recession. The roots of spiritual recession appear to be similar to the roots of economic recession. One common root of recession can be foolish presumption since the person described in verses 13 and 16 lives as if tomorrow will never come but is motivated by money and greed. Another root of recession whether economic or spiritual is overlooked perspectives since in verse 14 James teaches that life comes with some uncertainties but life also has certainties. The uncertainties are summed up in a question. “What is your life?” Certainties are contained in the expression, “It appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” A third common root to recession whether economic or spiritual is abandoned priorities. In verses 15-17 James is urging readers to get priorities in order because some people have forsaken two things, God’s will and His way.

If it’s natural to revisit a business strategy when market conditions change, it is likely appropriate for me to revisit my relationship with God. If the bedrock to business success is entrepreneurial spirit, substratum to spiritual victory is a blameless spirit.

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