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on the first Sunday after it became apparent that this was not just a downturn but a crisis, I opened our worship service at First UMC, a typical small-town Methodist church that i pastor, with my guitar, singing REM's "Its the End of the World As We Know It," the chorus of which ends with the line "and I feel fine" as our call to worship.

What had happened that week in my soul was that i had started with obsessing over my 401k and retirement funds. I even figured out how many days longer i had to work before i retired for every 1% the DJIA fell. (FYI - I will now feel lucky to retire at 85.) But by Friday of that week I had begun to care less about my monetary assets (and when i could retire) and began to understand a little more about what it means to rely on God. Even with the Dow out the window, I noticed that the sun kept coming up, my wife and my dogs still loved me, my cats and my children still ignored me, and that life went on more or less as usual. And I realized I had made money my functional savior. And that somehow or another, the huge drop in the markets had changed me. More "In God We Trust" and less "In Cash We Trust."

And I felt fine.

John Purdue