Time vs. Money

The little one is asleep on his blanket; I watch his chest move up and down as I’m writing this. I look down at my tummy, with a brown line slowly fading, and I can hardly believe that he came out of there just five months ago.

It feels like I now have a physical reminder of time. This baby is turning into a boy, and in time, he will become a young man.

And yet I cannot help but think how “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass…”  We too shall fade one day.  Our time as we know it will run out and there is only One Way into eternity. The question is, “Will we spend the little time we have laying up treasures in heaven or on earth?”

We have a choice.  We can spend our time accumulating earthly treasures in vain, always working for more, while what we already have is rusting away and gathering dust because we have no time to enjoy it.

Normal” is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car you are still paying for in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. – Ellen Goodman

My heart skipped a beat when I read this quote because I know it’s true. I’ve been there – caught up in traffic, debt, and vanity. Credit changed the money game because the debt incurred to have what you want when you want it can destroy your life rather than enriching it. If “time is money”, as they say, one ends up stealing time from his own future for present pleasures.

When it comes to earthly treasures, we each have the power to set their value in our lives. Money only has power because we believe it does.  In reality it is nothing but pieces of paper with presidents printed on them.  Mammon can take the shape of our desires – he is flexible like that. And we have to remember that the enemy and mammon are one and the same:  if we put our joy in earthly treasures, we make it so easy for him to steal it, and we should not be surprised when he does.

I would lie if I said I did not wish I had more money in the bank, owned a house or a car or a new smart phone. I simply know myself well enough to know that it would not make me happier if I had all these things.  I’ve walked the road with God long enough to know that He is the only security I need. I’m also certain that those things might affect my ability to choose how to spend my time most wisely in this life I have been given.  It is wisdom to invest in heavenly treasures rather than in earthly treasures which become distractions in our quest for the “abundant life”.

It is a noble idea to think that if I had a fortune, I would simply “give it all to the poor”.  However, to be quite honest, I have to admit that I would probably hold on as tightly to it as I do to my little “man-to-be”.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Kingdom lately, about investing all I have and all I am into a “currency” with an eternal interest rate. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of an economic system where less is more, giving is better than receiving, risking it all is the way to gain most, and playing it safe is dangerous.  Only to realize that everything you thought you “owned” was never really yours, and every second is a gift that you can only keep if you give it away.  

The more I think about it, the more I realize how empty a life chasing after anything but God will turn out to be. We have to be careful of chasing dreams that start with the words: “one day if I have…”.   If there is one thing money and time have in common, it is that we will never feel like we have “enough”. 

Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:17-18

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