Fat cat Wednesday and inner peace

Fat cat Wednesday and the inner peace


I’m writing this on Wednesday 4th January at 2:30pm.  The average FTSE100 company boss has now earned more in the 3 days of 2017 than I will earn in the whole of the year.  It has been called Fat Cat Wednesday by the press.


While this statistic is shocking and saddening it is also quite worrying.  It is worrying that people feel the need to care, and compare, how much they earn with that of how much another group of people earn.  Perhaps we should also have Premier league footballer Tuesday, Andy Murray Monday and Rock star Thursday just to make us feel extra worthless?


Interestingly we rarely compare ourselves with those less well off than ourselves.  Oxfam has worked out that if you earn £26.7k per year you are in the world’s top 1% of earners, and that 1% of the world’s population controls nearly 50% of the world’s wealth.  That’s a staggering and rather disheartening statistic.  But the point is that whether you compare yourself to those much wealthier than yourself, and feel hard done by, or you compare yourself to the poorer 90% of the world’s population, and feel guilty at how rich we are, neither is going to bring inner peace and contentment.


In my Bible reading this morning some would-be followers of Jesus come up to him, he turns to them and asks ‘What are you looking for?’


‘What are you looking for?’  It’s a question that leaves open the possibilities.  What are you looking for in life?  What are you looking for in your job?  Your marriage?  In church or village community?


When I reflected on that question for myself I came up with the answer that at the heart of everything I am looking for an inner peace and calm.  I’m looking for a contentment that can’t be found in money or possessions, and I’m not even sure it can be found in relationships, at least not the fragile fickle relationships that make up who we are as a society.  It certainly can’t be found in comparing ourselves to others.


When Jesus asks that question of the would-be disciples they are interested only in the here and now ‘Master, where are you staying?’, and again Jesus’ reply, initially straightforward, is open to interpretation ‘come and see.’  Come and see where I’m staying, or come and see what I can offer you, which is so much more than just teaching and learning, or things.


Jesus can offer a way back into relationship with God, which for me is the ultimate in inner peace.  Through this I find my place in the world, I find my place in society (which has nothing to do with how much other people earn) and I find my place in myself.


The most content set of people I ever met were a group of Christians living in a tiny hamlet in rural China, living hand-to-mouth, but in great contentment.


My question for you is; What are you looking for? And are you likely to find it in what you presently have?