. . . . .

Round-and-round we go.

Collecting money.  Paying bills.  Forking over taxes.  And almost every move we make during this round-and-round is filled with some risky, game-changing roll-of-the-dice.  Most of us go round-and-round from home to work and back home again.  Over and over, day after day. Round-and-round.  Some of us–to get to that daily grind–ride the railroads in-and-out. (Reading, Pennsylvania, and B&O.  Although, if you’ve ridden our Chicago-land Metra during the summer, Metra’s got enough B.O. to be aptly so renamed.)  From the sweat of summer to the slush of winter, we keep going day after day–nose to the grindstone because of what we want and need to collect.  For some of us, the round-and-round is a worthwhile effort because we want to keep our houses.  Others, just tolerate their homes, but dream about their favorite hotels.  Either way, houses and hotels cost decent money.

Though, I’m afraid, not everybody collects the same way.  Instead of working hard building an income like most everyone else, some take their Chances and spend their lifetimes trying to tap into the Community’s Chest of treasures hoping that everybody else will take care of their needs.

And still others–the beautiful people–live off their good looks and cash in from placing in Beauty Contests.  (Doesn’t happen that way for me.  Apparently I’m not beautiful enough.)  I’ve got to work for a living.  Back to the round-and-round.

If you’re like me right now, you also realize how important the Banker is in this whole equation.  Somehow, he’s got access to all the money.  But, if you want to get lucky and bypass the banker to get some cold hard cash, maybe you spend your efforts taking a gamble, praying you land just right, get lucky, hit the jackpot, and win it all.

Everybody’s got their own strategy.  But, the unchangeable reality in this world’s round-and-round is found in collecting.  Even if you have to pass ‘Go’ to do it.

Yes, you’ve already figured it out.  I’m talking about America’s most famous game.  Did you know that  Monopoly turns 75 this year?   (Even more evidence demonstrating how ingrained the presumptions of this age-old family classic reside in us Americans.)  Life has become about COLLECTING. The one with the most…wins.  You collect with each round-and-round.   We buy stuff and then work some more to buy EVEN MORE stuff.  We even use our stuff to make other people pay.  When we’ve got enough little stuff, we start building bigger stuff on top of our already-collected stuff.  This, while all of us keep going round-and-round!   THE GOAL:  collect more and more.  Cause…

The more you’ve got, the more you can do.

But, when you turn that proverbial pocket inside out, you come out with an opposite reality:

The less you’ve got, the less you can do.

I almost feel like the heel of the shoe or the dog reminding us all of this inverse, but it’s true.  But, wait, is that really the ultimate truth?  Is Monopoly the way to see the world?  Is it all about collecting?  Here’s your homework:  Go do your holiday duty and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and read First Timothy 6:17-19.  Then come back and talk to me.  The one with the most loved ones collected to themselves, they’re the real winners.  With this reminder, GO.  Collect.

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