All we hear these days is complaining about the economy and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Politicians talk about it all the time and yet do nothing creative in the area of improving our economy.
If you could put all the political speeches end to end, there would positively be no end to it. What we need to stimulate our economy is some kind of stimulation that does not come from the government. They stimulate me, all right, but not in the right way.
This is where I step in.
I assure you I am not running for any office. If the truth were known, I am running away from every office I can think of, especially my church office. I have no political agenda or aspirations; I am just a plain ordinary American citizen. I understand such creatures are an endangered species in today's economy. I am proud to be just a plain ordinary American. I am not middle-class, lower-class and certainly not high class. In fact, I have no class at all, and I am glad to leave it like that. I couldn't pass the test anyway.
But I am doing my part in stimulating the economy. The secret plan I have can be boiled down to one word: vacation.
This past week I have bravely gone where I have not been for a long time and that is on vacation. There is nothing like a vacation to stimulate many things, including the economy. It takes me a whole year to scrimp and save so the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I can go on a vacation. But in the end, it is well worth it.
After a weeklong vacation, I am highly stimulated to return home where I can recuperate from all that stimulation. My wallet is still vibrating.
I must confess that the primary stimulation in a vacation has to do with my credit card. It was stimulated in more ways than I care to remember, and at the end of the month the credit card company will remind me of all that stimulation.
If the government does not have enough money in its coffers to balance the budget, it is not because I have not done my part. Every time I turned around there was a tax on something. Do not let this get out, but if the government knows I turned around so many times, they will find a way to tax that.
I am not a conspiracy enthusiast, but I believe I stumbled onto a most blatant conspiracy with the United States government. I am here merely to give my humble testimony.
The conspiracy, as I found it, focuses in on the airlines. I know this may sound like a far-fetched idea but I can only give my observation. The airlines are in a conspiracy with the United States government to take as much money from me as they possibly can. Not that I have a lot of money, I just would like to keep as much of it as possible for those occasions when I would like to take my wife out to a restaurant and just have a relaxing evening. That takes money.
It began with checking in our luggage. Two bags for me and two bags for my wife equals too much luggage. We put our luggage on the conveyor belt and then were informed by the check-in clerk that each bag cost an extra $50. She swiped my credit card and even though I am not a mathematical wizard, I believe it was in the neighborhood of $200. I do not like that neighborhood.
Later on, I sat down to figure it out and discovered it would be far cheaper not to take any luggage and then when arriving at my destination buy a new set of clothes. My entire wardrobe does not equal $100. Of course, on my wife's side of the closet it is a different story.
We got our boarding pass and then the young woman behind the counter looked at me and asked a strange question. "Sir, how tall are you?"
It has been a long time since anybody asked me that kind of a question. Why she wanted to know how tall I was could not be found in the corridors of my empty mind. I then informed her that I was 6'3".
"I see," she said as she stared at her computer screen. Then she explained. "The average height of a male passenger on our plane is 5'11". You exceed that limit by 4 inches."
I looked at my wife and we both shared a wonderful laugh. Then I look back at her behind the counter, but she was not laughing.
"There will be an extra charge for your exceeding our height limit."
"Let's see," she said as she studied the computer screen, "that's 4 inches times $15 per inch which equals $60." She then swiped my credit card, again, and charged it with the $60 extra fee.
That was just the beginning of the "swiping" by the airlines. By the time our vacation was over, I was totally swiped out.
When I got home I meditated a little bit on what Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's" (Luke 20:25 KJV).
I really do not mind rendering to "Caesar" but I just wish he wasn't so greedy.