How Much Is A Billion?

If we were to go backwards in time 1 billion seconds, the year would be 1976. A billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was doling out free wine and free food to every Roman citizen over the age of 14… male, of course. The Roman Empire lasted for another few centuries until 476 when Odoacer the German deposed Romulus Augustus and that was the end of western Roman Empire.

Now that it's in perspective…

It would take longer to count to 1 billion because most of the numbers take longer to say than one second. Perhaps about 95 years to count to one trillion… say 485,732,394,723 real fast, three times. That's only 485+ billion.

It would take three 18-wheeler trailers jam packed to the top to carry 1 billion dollars in $100 dollar bills.

Now, your great aunt Bertha died and left you $1 billion dollars but you must spend $1,000 per day or you lose everything… do you have enough days left in your lifetime to spend it all? How long does it take to spend $1 billion dollars if you spend $1,000 per day?

It would take 2,740 years to spend that much money.

But, our Legislators spend four times that amount every day… they spend your entire inheritance PLUS in one day. That's scary.

I have heard it said that Congress haggles over $15,000 longer than they haggle over $1 million. We live in the land of milk and honey and it is downright scary that Congress hasn’t put the brakes on the national spending before this.

It is scary that so many people are gung ho about all the entitlements, everyone scrabbling for “a piece of the action,” for what they feel they are entitled to, yet turn around and act all shocked at the national debt, never realizing that it is our fault as much as the legislators. The day I graduated from college back in December 2005, my part of the national debt was $26,000. Now, it is more than $44,000 and change. The national debt is increasing $4.15 billion per day. This makes me sick at my stomach, actually, because that is more than our gross national product, and that is more than twice what our per capita income is.

One billion seconds ago, I had just had my lovely first born daughter. It was the Bicentennial celebrations, and Gerald Ford was president.   The national debt was

$653,544,000,000.

Today the national debt is

$13,732,211,997,541.

So what is my point, I can hear you asking.

We are headed like a speeding bullet for the quadrillions in budgetary language, without even understanding what one billion actually means. My point is the entitlements. The very name entitlement gets my bile rising. No one is entitled to anything unless they work for it. That is a Biblical principle that worked well for Paul and the Apostles and it should work well for us.

But, like the Romans, we've become too fat and lazy to work for our supper. We want to hold out our hands and expect the gold to fall into our palms. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, our money will begin to be Monopoly money and the free wine and free bread along with the daily free ham will drain us all dry. Once the masses are deprived of their freebies, they get really nasty. I'm wondering if that isn't happening already. I haven't noticed any belt-cinching since the war in Iraq or since Katrina, but the money pool is not as full as it once was.

However, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and render to Uncle Sam what is Uncle Sam's and render to God what is God's. That has worked really well so far. God promises something beautiful when we bring the tithes into the storehouse. He wants us to test Him, try Him, prove Him and the blessings, unmeasured blessings He will pour out on us.

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