Friday, December 05, 2008


Entitlement is a huge issue in life. So many people feel they are "entitled" to any number of various things... sometimes people. Sometimes they treat people like things. Sometimes they do unimaginable things in the name of what they think they are entitled to. It must be an illness, most likely perpetuated by constantly getting the things they think they're entitled to. Great example: O.J. Simpson.

Talk about someone who, at one time (or many times), received anything he wanted just because he was who he was. He had a talent - he was athletic - and that talent rewarded him with fame, fortune, the beautiful wife, children and innumerable "things" that, in his mind, can never be replaced. He felt, and apparently still feels, like he's entitled to them. It's so bad, that when those things were taken away (or left on their own), he tried to claim them back. Using "stupid", criminal means. Just today, I watched in disbelief, when he, during his bitter diatribe that seems to hint that he's some kind of victim, claimed that he was stupid to think that in the state of Nevada, it is not illegal to storm a meeting with a gang of pals armed to the hilt with firearms. Really? He lost me at "I did not know...."

Just after the verdict, I watched a short interview with Mark Fuhrman, the detective who initially worked on the infamous O.J. case - the one where his ex-wife, mother of his children, and her newfound love, Ron Goldman, were savagely murdered by someone who must have been a very large, athletic man - and he pointed out that O.J. has used the years since that horrific event NOT to turn his life around or create a worthy legacy for himself. Instead, he has consistently been sued, arrested for rage events, and on the wrong side of the law. He plainly stated that today was, unfortunately for O.J., inevitable.

I wonder if today's sentencing was at all cathartic for the Goldman family, who have spent the years since their son's incomprehensible murder agonizingly, painstakingly and fervently making O.J.'s emminent imprisonment their goal. My guess is that it's only a small victory for them, but in the end it will never replace what they, and their son and his friend, lost. There's no happiness in knowing that heart of their object of hate has only hardened and become more self-absorbed since his last day in court.

The lesson here: "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal." Matt. 6:20. It's pretty simple in writing, pretty unnatural in practice. Focus on life beyond what you have here on earth so that you don't lose focus on the things that are really important. It's not about me or my things.... because if it is, I could end up like O.J. We're really not entitled to have everything we could ever want or desire, and we're warned about the consequences of believing that.

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