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Our Upside Down Values


In one hand I held a five dollar note. In the other hand I held 2 trouser hangers. I stood in the check-out line at the department store with my mind in neutral. Nothing out of the ordinary thus far.


However, when the checkout operator scanned the two items, she paused and stared long and hard at the screen displaying the prices. "Whoa, that can't be right!" she exclaimed.   "Is there a problem with the price?" I asked.   "Apparently the two of those items together cost $47,000" , she replied.   "In that case, "I said, "I'll probably only take one".  In the end, we got it all sorted out and both checkout operator and customer were happy with the corrections.  


Someone once observed that the values in our world suggest that some mischievous person has changed all the price labels. Things that were once of great value have now become undervalued and have been replaced by what was once considered relatively worthless.   I've been around long enough to remember when family life was highly valued and protected. But that value has been besieged by all manner of attack. Somehow family life has been devalued.  


For example, it seems that many parents are too busy to spend quality time with their children. Husbands and wives struggle to spend quality time with each other. Other demands on our time are given priority. That can only mean other things are now deemed more valuable.   Someone has switched the price labels and we have failed to notice the switch.  


No, that's not quite true. There are some people who have recognized the change and are questioning these new values. Like the checkout operator mentioned above, they are saying, . "Whoa, this can't be right!"   I want to applaud those who are determined either not to believe these new values or to recover what they have surrendered and to re-commit to the former values. I cheer you on! Good for you!  


If I told you I bought those two trouser hangers for $47,000, you would rightly dismiss me as crazy. No matter how good they are, trouser hangers just aren't worth that kind of money!   Yet there are some people in our world who pay an enormous price emotionally and relationally for what promises great rewards but, in the end, it delivers pain and heartache.  


That makes me wonder just who are the crazy ones.          

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