Another Midas Story

I had motored across town to pick a buddy up for lunch. The drive was pretty routine after doing it so many times. Turn, accelerate, mumble, stop. Go, merge, grumble, turn again then park. It was always the same, but this time, I could tell something was incredibly different about the house from almost a block away. The exterior color had changed. His home had been that awful tan that accosted the suburbs of America sometime after 2000 and refused to leave but now, it was…shiny. The color was dull, but still reflected the sunlight more than any regular paint could. It was gaudy and ridiculous, which didn’t really surprise me about this guy.

I had to stare at the ground as I approached the two-story abode. I could feel the temperature rise as I drew near to the heat-reflecting walls. I wondered how much a ridiculous paint job like this would cost, then I wondered how my twenty-something compatriot could afford it. I rang the doorbell and waited with my questions.

He opened the door with a huge grin. His long arm shot out the door, grabbed my shirt, and pulled me in. He slammed the door behind me. “Jake! They want me to help them!”

“What the crap are you talking about and who are ‘they’?”

“All these random people!”

“Oh?”

“Yes. Did you see my house? How could you miss it? I made it gold and now people know I can just turn things to gold and they keep calling me. Several have come over, so now I lock my doors and pretend that I’m not home. I’m afraid they’re going to break in or hurt my house to get gold!”

“Gold. You’re an idiot, aren’t you? What is this story you’re telling me?”

“I can turn things to gold! Look at your shirt, then you’ll listen to me!”

I glanced at my left arm. It didn’t look like the sleeve of the blue and red flannel I had put on not more than an hour earlier but instead, looked like something from a nineties rap video. My chin dropped to my chest where it stayed until I could fully perceive the rest of my shirt. It was indeed, gold. “Why the crap did you do that? This was my favorite shirt!”

“Well, now it’ll buy you tons more just like it used to be, right?”

“NO! Who would buy a gold shirt? I’ll tell you who, a dirty pawnshop, that’s who. They won’t give me much for it either. You ruined it!”

He laughed some more and stepped out of my way to reveal a shiny, gold haze. It seemed that everything was made of gold. “The only scary thing is the government wants to talk to me. Something about killing the value of gold if I’m not careful. Jake, I don’t want to talk to them about this, they’ll try to stop me.”

“Makes sense, why couldn’t you turn everything into candy? Wow, you really did turn everything into gold, didn’t you?”

He laughed, “I shouldn’t have changed a few things… do you know how uncomfortable gold briefs are?” I cringed at the thought, he just looked down and avoided eye-contact for a moment.

“Well, what do we do now? You need to stop this. Don’t sell any of it, you’ll just draw attention to yourself.”

“Wait. No, I’m going to be rich. If I can make anything into gold, then I can buy anything I want. I’m starting with my own professional basketball team…”

★                     ★                      ★

God doesn’t mind if we support ourselves with the gifts He gave us. It’d be a waste for a great leader not to lead. Not everyone can do it for nothing, so a paycheck might be in order depending on the situation. The same is true for artists, athletes, writers and all the other people who have been given some amazing ability by God. Here’s the deal though, if they choose to only support themselves, they’ll have problems. If they only want to get rich and not serve God and friends, they’ll end up living alone and paranoid in a blingin’ house wearing uncomfortable, gold undies.

Romans 11:29 says, “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” Which means that even idiots can have the Midas touch. The problem then, is when they choose to serve themselves, they create fool’s gold.

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8 Responses to Another Midas Story
  1. floyd
    March 4, 2011 | 2:08 PM

    The mystery to happiness revealed! Serving others with God’s gifts is the key to living a fulfilled life, I wonder since we all know it, how come more of us don’t do it? I’ve also noticed in life the most miserable people are the ones with themselves as the center of their universe. It defies God and His will, there is no happiness outside the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Gold underwear? How do you come up with stuff?

    • jake
      March 5, 2011 | 2:24 AM

      Floyd, you’re entirely correct. God made us to be people. Even though we’re all equal, He didn’t make us all the same, so we all have to contribute in order to achieve personal satisfaction but also to help others in their plight for the same thing. Too bad the American dream doesn’t mention anything about serving our neighbors as we become the humans God made us to be. It would just make so much more sense that way….

    • jake
      March 5, 2011 | 2:25 AM

      As for the gold underwear… I find humor right on the edge of awkwardness. :)

  2. harmamae
    March 4, 2011 | 7:54 PM

    Oooo, nice re-telling of the Midas story. I always thought that particular talent seemed kind of creepy for some reason.

    • jake
      March 5, 2011 | 2:21 AM

      Thanks friend! It’s a great story with lots of insight into human nature. It also made the “gods” look like a bunch of jerks. Rarely in Greek mythology did they give people what they asked for and have it amount to a good thing. Fortunatley, Yahweh isn’t like that. He gave us good gifts to support ourselves, our families the the communities we belong to!

  3. Jason Vana
    March 4, 2011 | 10:23 PM

    Great illustration Jake! I’ve seen the “golden touch” get abused quite a bit in the church, and it’s sad to see that it not only affects the person who is using their gifts for themselves – it affects everyone.

    • jake
      March 5, 2011 | 2:19 AM

      Jason, it’s entirely true! Not only that, but it’s something that every single person has to deal with because God gave out gifts liberally and to everybody, not just pastors, teachers, evangelists and the people near the top of the “Christian caste system”. I almost feel bad putting it that way, but the people at the bottom end contribute to the problem just as much!

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