Wealth and Possessions

Here is the foundational verse for this year's Write of Passage Screenwriting Competition (Oct. 2015). Ecclesiastes 5:19 "Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil-this is a gift of God." NIV

The theme for 2015-2016 is "Work," as it is for the 168 Film Project (May 2016). What a great verse and theme for Hollywood.

I and so many of my friends continually obsess on success, which is a major ingredient of wealth, which is further complicated by fame.
I know of a man who is more slavish than others to the biz.  His continual obsession is for his work.  He toils and toils and grumbles at his lowly estate.  And worst of all, his rabid and obnoxious sense of entitlement disallows him to ever receive small victories that are won; with gladness of heart.
In Ecclesiastes 6:3, it says that "A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he." NIV
In Solomon's time, the cultural relevance is of a proper burial was of grave import (pun intended). If one was not interred either in the earth or in a tomb, it represented divine disapproval.  But, that's a subject for another time.
If one cannot enjoy one's prosperity, then I would say that it is akin to being buried alive by the vagaries of work.  As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, it is "meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
Here is a line (slightly modified) from one of the Write of Passage Screenplays.  It's wisdom is profound:

It’s not wrong to want to be rich, but there is nothing more wrong than being a slave to that notion.  (If you succeed as you dream in your wildest fantasies), then you’ll be a slave to that business for life -- until it finally gets to a point, if it ever does, that it will give you the freedom you have right now!
Do you have this freedom?  Are you in bondage to success?  Do you HAFTA GET THERE, TO BE SOMEBODY, TO BE RICH, TO BE FAMOUS?  Will that success make the pain and emptiness go away?  What if it doesen't?

Proverbs 16:7-9 says: "When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." NIV
The end of the matter in the sobering book of Ecclesiastes is simple: Fear God, keep his laws, eat, drink and find happiness in your work IN THAT ORDER.
Easy to say, tough to do.

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