Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Yes, why is that?! Now that we're retired we have lots of free time, but because we're on a "fixed" income (which, between social security and investments, is not even guaranteed) and because we don't know how long we'll live, we have to parcel it out more carefully. We don't want to run out of money before we run out of life!
Money. It is said to be the root of all evil. But that is not what the Bible says. It says it's the LOVE of money that is root of all evil. Jesus uses money in several of His parables because how you deal with money IS an indication of where your heart is. Today we have sayings such as "put your money where your mouth is," "money talks," "a fool and his money will soon be parted," "money attracts money" and so on. I love this one I just found on the Internet: "Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer ." How and what we spend our money on does tell us a lot about ourselves. For instance, when I travel I'd rather spend less money on food so I can have more to spend on the room I stay in. I know that wouldn't be true for some people. I would also rather stay home and use the money to make my home more like the places I want to travel to so I wouldn't have to travel to the places I want to stay at. And speaking of homes, I gave up lots of vacation trips so I could have the kind of home I'd want my children to grow up in.
Priorities. That's what money tells us about ourselves which brings me back to my original theme: Time. It takes time to make money, and for some of us it takes more time than it does for others. Just look at the money an athlete or successful actor makes compared to what most of us make in the same amount of time. Lifetimes (plural)! But, in the end we all have the same number of hours in a day. Time is where we have equal footing. Yes, we all have to earn a living in order to feed, clothe, and house ourselves, but we here in America certainly overdue it! We could very well live on much less--albeit not as comfortably.
So what to do about the time/money quandary. I think this Beatles song says it all: Can't Buy Me Love
When you think what's most important--Love--money no longer enters the picture. What people want most is your time. Of course, if you've been raised to think money = love, then you won't see it that way. Too often overly busy parents buy things for their children to fill up their time or to assuage their own guilt.
So what's one to do to break that cycle especially when it means changing a whole belief system? I've read stories like this one where the parents sold everything they owned, bought a boat, and sailed around the world together as a family for seven years! The most drastic thing I ever did was to tell my 5- and 2-year-old that the TV was broken--for nine months. The only reason it got suddenly-fixed was we had two "snow days" (schools closed) in a row and I was pulling my hair out! So I know it's difficult to change one's lifestyle. But, if this post can even just get you started in the right direction of using more of your time for showing others how much you love them (and I don't mean by making more money to buy them more things), then the time it took for me to write this will have been worth it!
Father, thank you for the time you've allotted me with my loved ones. May I not squander it.
Link to scripture: http://kingjbible.com/ephesians/5-15.htm
Take action: Family Time Together