The rage has subsided. Our 30-day attention span culture has moved on from Regis’ “I Want to Be a Millionaire.” Meredith Viera now hosts the show (she recently won 2005’s Emmy for Daytime Gameshow Host). Although they’re still giving away money, only wannabe’s and the bored are watching. I confess. I’m a wannabe.
Carolyn and I were in New York last November. It was the first getaway of that nature we’d probably had since our honeymoon. We had a blast, getting to see the surface and touristy features of NYC, as well as being humbled and moved by Ground Zero. But while we were there, we waited in line and got on the “Regis & Kelly Show” (Caro’s insistence), and then the “Millionaire” show.
Who knew you had to take a test to get on the list to compete? Though we got to sit in the audience for the taping, a pre-show quiz was passed out to determine who could compete. We sat next to several repeaters – folks who keep lining up for hours to get in, just to take and pass the quiz, just so they “might” get on the show as a contestant.
And who knew the test would be so cotton-pickin’ hard?! Good grief! Do I really have to know the name of George Washington’s cat to be a millionaire? (OK, they didn’t ask that, but there were some very obscure questions!). Obviously, I didn’t pass the test. And I’m not a millionaire. But I want to be.
I’m not exactly sure what the appeal is for all of us in wealth. Is it freedom? Getting out of the debt mess? Is it to subsidize the lust of our eyes? To be able to fill our pockets, houses, and egos? Why do we get such a temporary high from possessions? From “power?” It is only momentary. Any truly wealthy person will assure you that misery chases them just as it hounds you. Wealth is no path to true peace. (Dangit!)
I believe Jesus shared with us words of supernatural and sublime truth when he simply stated, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it; he who loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Millions may finance a shopping binge, but they won’t satisfy the longings of the human heart. St. Augustine said, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
It’s not about millions. It’s about meaning. That’s my final answer.