"Jacob," he said, imploringly. "Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob."
"I have none to give," The Ghost replied. "It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all permitted to me. I cannot rest. I cannot stay. I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house--mark me!--in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!"
Not a very comforting passage this morning from Charles Dickens. It appears near the beginning of the novel and doesn't paint a very flattering picture of the afterlife. Or at least Jacob Marley's afterlife. And it also doesn't provide much solace to Scrooge, who seems to be one step shy of being condemned to the ninth circle of the Inferno.
I have to say, the last couple of days have been a little difficult for me, ever since I received the news about the repair needed on my wife's Subaru. Out of all the things in life that can cause me worry, finances top the list. I hate having, as the old saying goes, to rob Peter to pay Paul. I think there's a reason why finances are the number one cause of divorce in the United States. The worry is insidious. I haven't slept well since Wednesday. Scrooge (and Marley, when he was alive) is in the business of creating financial stress. He makes people lose sleep. He provides no comfort, even though he has the financial means.
This morning, as I was taking my shower, I was really thinking a lot about money and worry. I came to two realizations. First, I can't do anything about having too little money. I already have two, basically, full-time jobs, plus a couple part-timers. My wife has been applying for jobs all over the place. She just had another job interview yesterday. Unless Scrooge's nephew, Fred, offers one of us a better position, we are in an economic holding pattern. Second, worry is a waste of time. It helps nothing and just consumes huge chunks of energy. I need to take a cue from Bob Cratchit on this issue. Bob seems to worry very little and has faith that everything is going to work out for the best.
Therefore, today I'm going to try to practice a little less worry and a little more faith. A little less Scrooge, a little more Bob. There are "other ministers" to provide comfort, as Marley says, and I'm going to have to trust in those ministers.
Embrace your limitations, Saint Marty. You are powerless. Until you win the Pulitzer and/or Nobel Prize.
Confessions of Saint Marty