Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Preacher: "Thoughts On The Fuel Costs."

It's hard to remain under the covering of "christian" views on life when you do any amount of traveling these days. It seems that greed is evident in all walks of life, not just in the devestation left by Katrina. People are busy about the business of "doing business" and a lot of that, for the greater portion these days, has to do with taking as much advantage of the situation as possible for the extra dollars to be gained through the practice of "price gouging." I guess I was unaware until this week of how that actually works with people. My guess is if we had a shortage of bread out here on the Great American Desert the type of individual who practices this type of profiteering would up the price to about $3.00 for your everyday plain white pound of bread. When put like that it sounds terrible, doesn't it? After all, these are folks that live in the community with us. They worship in our churches, their children go to school with our children and grandchildren. They're our neighbors, but not when it comes to a buck! It saddens my spirit to know that gas is still at $2.99 a few miles away while right here in town, delivered by the same trucks the prices average between 30 and 40 cents a gallon higher. How does one sit down to dinner and give thanks for all God has done for their lives, and while they eat consider the next increase that will further line their pockets. This week I ponder the way people do business. I fully understand that during the rally when we have hundreds of thousands of tourists moving around in South Dakota that everyone expects to pay an extra 10 to 15 percent for their gas. I've come to accept that as a fact of life. For the folks that live in the surrounding communities hardest hit with price increases they simply fill up before it starts and try to get through until the prices drop back to "normal." This is a different story, though, and I'm beginning to hear the voices of people that are feeling very hard pressed to make ends meet. I guess as I see it the hardest hit people are the ones who can afford it the least and the ones that are attempting to really do a good life for themselves and their children. Many live in the bedroom communities that surround our city (if you can really call 20,000 residents a city) and they commute. Even more hard pressed right now are the agriculturally based laborers whose work has them traveling many miles each day to and from the site. There's an upside, too! The usual racing around we get with the influx of college students is down by over 50%. That's a lot less squeeling of tires and racing of engines to impress someone. Even that has it's drawbacks, though, the local police department is issuing fewer and fewer tickets because of the lack of folks spending money driving around being stupid. That won't really show for a few weeks, but eventually there will have to be an increase in a tax somewhere to make up for the loss of revenue that can be directly attributed to gas prices. And then there is the whole infrastructure that is going to be adversely affected by the costs. I suppose when you start weighing all the factors the scales are going to have to tip in one direction or the other. What I would like to suggest is that we all pray for the folks that have that desire to take advantage of their fellow human beings any way that they can. Pray that they would have their hearts pricked every day in some way by the greed that they are allowing to control their caring for others. There is one other thought that I really want to share....."If the rising cost of driving keeps people from losing their lives or taking the life of another with their vehicles, it is worth it!" It will, you know. Some of the individuals who have no business driving anyway are not going to be out there, and that is a good thing! In Christ's Love, Preacher.


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