It’s 2009 and I’m about to go on a two-week holiday, so I’d better put fingers to key-board if I want any entries for January!
Life continues to be crazy, but it’s a slow crazy right now since so many people are away on holiday. In some ways this is good; I can get caught up on stuff that’s been waiting for free space. In other ways this is incredibly frustrating, cos nearly everything I need to do involves a number of other people. When I get back from holiday, everybody else will be back too – and it will be time to get going for the year. This all makes careful preparation VERY DIFFICULT INDEED! Ah well.
I’ve discovered something. I’m allergic to spending money. It’s not one of those instant-anaphylactic-shock allergies where any slight slippage of cents or dollars sends me into a gasping, twitching coma. It’s more like one of those slowly-building-up-beyond-tolerance levels allergies, where if I don’t get a good bit of parsimony in between all the spending I get grumpy, morose, and pessimistic. I don’t mind the occasional splurge – in fact I like it. But to go on spending money day after day, buying Christmas presents, buying food for various celebations, buying new equipment for camping, buying supplies for the first chick to fly the nest, buying birthday presents, buying Buying BUYING…!!!! just gets to be too much for me.
In fact, this is all money we’ve been saving and putting aside for just this season. I know we can afford this. I know that each expenditure (except the one where I’m paying the panelbeater for my carelessness) is justified. I know that it isn’t stopping us being just as generous as we choose to be. But somewhere inside me the Scottish ancestry and the Jewish ancestry is getting together and demanding an end to this ridiculous consumerism.
A proverb: "Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all." (Proverb 22.2 – The Bible). I guess, in the end, the money, or lack of it, isn’t going to make much difference, and I need to get over my fear of it. What matters is not that I have/ don’t have, or that I spend/ save it. What matters is did I do what I did with respect for my God? No hard and fast rules there, just moment by moment decision-making. Am I satisfied that our use of money is God-honouring? If yes, then I need to learn to let it lie. There is no good in being anxious about what I’ve already done. If no, then I need to re-evaluate don’t I. And this is a good time of the year to do so.
For help in getting going, I recommend these resources:
And some final wisdom from the bible: (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6) "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Jesus.
Have a great new year everybody.