|This was the oldest of my X-Men comics which|
was pretty cool but I really wanted #1!
What would you do with a million dollars?
I used to play this “what if” game as a child. It was fun to think about having zero restrictions.
Would I buy the latest Atari 2600 system with all of the game cartridges – even all of the different ones published by Activision?
Or maybe I would pick up all the back issues of my favorite comic books like the X-Men or the Avengers (long before they were movies, I read those stories as a kid).
Having my own swimming pool with a high dive and a huge slide into the deep end was also something that would have fit nicely in my back yard.
My parents always said something or other about not spoiling me. At the time this seemed like a ridiculous reply.
Later as we got older, the fantasy question often turns from what would you do with a million dollars to what would you do for a million dollars. That small change of prepositions changes the entire nature of the question, doesn’t it?
Now we are talking about morals and boundaries in ways that are more profound.
The question changes from a fantasy of excess to an exploration of character and identity. Kids also have a way of pushing the envelope with one another into places that adults hesitate to go. As an adult, if I ask it of you, I realize that you might ask it of me! Kids don’t seem to care.
Sometimes we would say things that we would do just to shock the others. After all, no one was really going to front the money for such an outlandish experiment. Later they turned this sometimes dark question into a dark movie called Indecent Proposal which takes the viewer places we really don’t want to go. But shock value and curiosity go hand in hand.
I wonder what Jesus thought when two of his disciples said to him, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” After the miracles they saw him perform, was this their version of “What if we had a million dollars”?
I always picture Jesus smirking when he replies, “What is it you want me to do for you?”
Of course the disciples miss the bigger picture. It’s been 2,000 years and today’s disciples are still missing it. It is interesting that Jesus seems to turn the question from what would you do with a million dollars to what would you do for a million. He lets the disciples know that there are expectations for those who follow him. It's more fun to think about the great treasure than our responsibility in working toward it. But it's also comforting to know that they struggled with the same things we do.