Yesterday I had lunch with a long time business associate who happens to work for Citibank. During our meal, I mentioned how much I used to enjoy the old Citibank print ad campaign entitled "Live Richly". The entire mood of this advertising campaign, to me, seemed entirely counter cultural, and if you will, so "non-banker like".
The theme, you may recall, was basically to point out that money is, after all, not what life is all about. Family, relationships, experiencing the blessings of life really matter more, Citibank seemed to be telling us.
And now, after pondering the thoughts of Eugene Peterson in "Eat This Book", I think I might understand a bit better what was going on in my upper class consumer American mind as I viewed those billboards. To quote Peterson,
"Our new class of spiritual masters is composed of scientists and economists, physicians and psychologists, educators and politicians, writers and artists. They are every bit as intelligent and passionate as our earlier church theologians and every bit as religious and serious, for they know what they come up with has enormous implications for everyday living."
And so, maybe one reason I loved those billboards is that they endorsed my dual lifestyle, one foot in this world, and one foot that wants to be in the Kingdom world. In short, Citibank was offering me platitudes about the things I valued most.
This final observation was confirmed at the close of my lunch. My friend said to me, "Know what, we (Citibank) have ended that ad campaign. It didn't really sell our products like we thought it might."
So, Citibank dumped the concept of Living Richly. But I remember something about a life that is really rich. I need to think more about what that means.