Time, Money & Spiritual Matters

  "The purpose of life is a 
   life of purpose."
      ~Robert Byrne~
 
"I think everybody should
 get rich and famous and do
 everything they ever dreamed
 of so they can see that it's
 not the answer."
       ~Jim Carrey~

Default Position

Once upon a time during spring training, a high school baseball player was in his coach’s office. It was his senior year, and they were talking about his future.

“What are your plans?”
“I’m training hard so I can have the best season ever,” the player said.

“Then what?” the coach asked.
“Well, I want to put up great numbers and attract college scouts so I get scholarship offers,” the teen answered with confidence.

The coach nodded. “Then what?”
“I’ll dedicate myself at college, in the classroom and on the field. I’ll work harder than anyone else to reach my goal. I want to get drafted in the first round by a major league team,” the player replied.

“Then what?” the coach asked, cocking an eyebrow.
The young man frowned hard. “Then I’ll give everything I got to make it out of the minors. I’ll not be satisfied until I reach the major leagues.”

The older man smiled. “Those are fine goals, but then what?”
“Then what?” the player echoed, shaking his head. “Then I’ll be a star and get a big contract. I’ll play in the World Series. I’ll hit .300 and get all kinds of endorsements. I’ll build a beautiful house and vacation all around the world. I’ll do everything and anything I ever want to do. People will point at me when I walk down the street or stand in lines to shake my hand and get my autograph. After I finish my career I’ll get inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

The coached leaned close to him. “Then what?”
The player was exasperated. “Then what . . . then what? What else is there?”

What else is there? Oft-times we do exactly as that young ballplayer, don’t we? Life gets reduced to the universe of me.

Oh, we may not express it aloud—we may not actually verbalize the feelings—but nonetheless the attitude is there; the me attitude is dominant. It may be strongest in the inexperience of youthful exuberance, but we never truly lose it completely.

The me attitude is humanity’s default position.

What fills our calendars . . .
What fills our calendars . . .
and/or depletes our bank accounts is what we value.
and/or depletes our bank accounts is what we value.

Time & Money Values

We are predisposed to make choices based on a one-dimensional view created by our aspirations. The game plan for our lives is about a successful career path.

What else is there? There are spiritual matters that are essential to our well-being, but we are geared and programmed not to give those primary attention. There are worldview issues that define our relationship to others, but those are allowed to develop with an accidental ease.

Taking care of business effectively or getting a task done efficiently takes precedent over crucial heart questions. Keeping up with society’s standards can overwhelm spiritual concerns, so we chart a path that dismisses the faith dimension.

We relegate faith to some dim corner, only to be dusted off in time of need or on special occasions, but that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

Faith and how it impacts our decisions ought to be given top priority, but are seldom taken into account. Regardless of protestations to the contrary, we largely make me-centric choices. Those statements are proven as fact by an appraisal of how we spend our time and money.

What gives our life meaning? The answer is easy to determine. On what and where we spend our time and money is what gives our life meaning. Our values can be discerned by our calendar and checkbook.

We can play little games or dress it up fancier than that, but reality is reality.

Consider the following words of Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-34 - NIV

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.

Balance

Balance is crucial; it is about more than simply standing up straight. Balance is about having the proper perspective, which results in emotional and spiritual health. We may be able to fake it or go through the motions so we appear balanced but sooner or later we stumble and fall.

To be balanced and correctly calibrated requires that Christ be alive and well in our hearts. When that is real, it means having a lifestyle based on God’s Word, not by the dictates of culture, whim, popularity or convenience.

Our culture shouts at us to get and grab more; it whispers to us that we need this or that latest fad; it plays a constant shell game with deception and sleight of hand telling us what possession or achievement we require to be happy.

We work at maintaining a focused equilibrium, but let’s be honest: It doesn’t take much to knock us off balance. This is especially true in the whole area of trusting God for food, shelter, clothing, and career.

Here is a strange paradox: We say we trust God with our eternal souls, but aren’t quite convinced he can handle our temporal physical needs.

 "You are given a situation.
  What you are determines 
  what you see; what you see
  determines what you do."
    ~Haddon Robinson~ 

Perspective

Consider this: A man in Colorado moved to Texas and built a house with a huge picture window from which he could view hundreds of miles of rangeland. “The only problem,” he said, “is there’s nothing to see.”

At the same time, a man relocated from Texas to Colorado and bought a beautiful house with a large window overlooking the Rockies. “The only problem is, I can’t see anything,” he complained, “the mountains are in the way.”

The point being that we have a way of missing what’s right in front of us. We go to the big city and see the lights and glitter, but miss the lonely, broken people.

We read God’s Word, and miss the connection between its truth about justice, and the mundane ordinary everyday lifestyle choices we make. We hear or read lessons about sacrificial giving, and miss the point that it applies to us.

Can our compass become skewed by the hollow lies propagated by our culture?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Possibly
  • No Opinion
See results without voting

What Else Is There?

What else is there? How about seriously taking stock of what passes for putting God first in our lives.

We sing songs and say prayers about our dedication, but phrases are easy, actions and lifestyle far more difficult. Most times we don’t want God’s kingdom, God’s call or following Christ to interfere with our pursuit of abundance or earthly security.

We desire to touch, taste, and experience all the treasures and thrills the world has to offer. Even when God’s Word warns us about the hollow lies propagated by our culture we still want what we want.

Our compass can become so skewed that we think we need it all so we exhaust our time and money to get and have. Then we try to fit the kingdom of God into our schedule, so we create Convenient Christianity or Comfortable Christianity.

We want to find just enough of the kingdom of God for peace, forgiveness, comfort, and a sense of belonging. We want to have the ceremony, ritual, and a touch of the sacred in our lives, but those discipleship demands and stewardship expectations are all kind of heavy, don’t you think?

The total weight of our reasoning gets tipped over by these words of Jesus: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

The principle woven into that passage ought to get us feeling unsettled or edgy. That angst is symptomatic of God being at work in our heart and mind.

We may be sophisticated—enlightened even—but nowadays, given our habitual complacency in spiritual matters, we are desperate for that mysterious working of God in our midst. At each supernatural prompting, may we have the courage and grace to respond in ways that honor our Heavenly Father.

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Comments 28 comments

aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 6 years ago from Australia

GOOD point(s). How true it is. We work hard at what is not so important,and neglect the crucial. Wishing is easy, doing is hard. Very well written hub. Blessings. :)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

aka-dj - Thank you. I appreciated your words of affirmation & encouragement. Blessings to you.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Oh.. so timely...thank you Ken


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

I agree with the content of this hub fully. As one ages, one's priorities also change, at least for most people. I think that as we come into the awareness the time is winding down for us, we start to focus more on what is really important in life such as our faith development, family, ministering to the needs of others and so forth.

This hub serves as a great wake-up call for sleepers resting in the valley to time and money!

Forever His,


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada

Ken have I been there and back...and gone again...I think I finally have my priorities all straightened out, and Holy Spirit comes with His illuminating light and shows me the truth. I really is possible to NOT be about my Father's business right inside the Church.

The Spirit has been drawing me toward and teaching me the joy of seeing what is right in front of my nose. What is my goal in life? Doing what God has placed before me to do...He will take care of the long-range plans as they are His anyway. Some think this is ir-responsible...I believe it is well placed faith.

Well written Hub Ken.

Blessings to you and thanks for the thoughts which continue to challenge me to a life lived in true reality.

UlrikeGrace


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

Excellent Hub brother, fine job. Sounds like it was written from brutal experiences. Thanks so much.

I know that Life is a Person and all that emanates from Him is Life, all else is an illusion.

Life is not what you make it, it is you yielding to the source of Life that makes you live in that Life, all else is vanity.

To lose your life, is to make way for Life and to gain all things that can be seen is to lose all the eternal.

The seeker friendly, comfortable, complacent Christian message we so often hear has wholesale deceived many.

Free is the man who is content with food, shelter and clothing, he is free to seek the everlasting. The pursuit of things will rob us of Life.

Again, well said and transparent no doubt Ken.

~Shalom


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

What else is there. Isnt it funny how young people think? Inspirational post.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

msorensson - You're welcome. Thank you for visiting.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

RevLady - Thank you for your insightful observations & encouraging words. Always appreciated. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

UlrikeGrace - Thank you for stopping & for sharing words of testimony & encouragement. Peace & blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

quietnessandtrust - Thank you for your words. You have good discernment. Yes, lessons learned through the ups & downs of life. Blessings & encouragement to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

carolina muscle - Thank you. Yes, it is funny how young people think, BUT we were all there once. :>)


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Ken - your hub is truly inspirational. Oh to be young again and know what I know now. I always did refrain from being materialistic (child of the 60's). If I lose all material things today as long as my husband and cats are alright we live to fight another day. Ever see a U-haul behind a hearse? Nope and you won't. Great hub


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Ken this is a great Hub but the fall back position is not necessarily what we truly have even. It is good, or not so good to plan for tomorrow, for while we are still in today, we might just take a heart-attack and die. Today, one step forward at a time is all any person can honestly promise and do, for it takes just a blink of an eye for it to all come to an end, young, middle-aged, or old it doesn't matter. Now that is realism, Oh Ya! and make sure God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit are the focal point in each second lived and each step taken.

Sincerely,

Brother Dave.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Ken, great hub. It goes back to my expiration date. All is relevant if a feller dies at 40 he was middle aged at 20.

It's a good idea to put Yahshua in the drivers seat as soon as possible. I waited 'til late in life, if I'd have shot craps 20 years ago I'd have been like a marshmallow on Satan's forked stick. Now I just have to keep growing and never looking back at the life as it was. When I gave it up, it was still funny, and in the right place I'd tell the crude stories and we'd and we'd all laugh it up, now it's just not that funny. People tell me I need to lighten up, I tell them they need to get heavy, while there's still time to walk to the shore.


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

Hi Ken, one of the things that always got me, was the people that would approach me with a money making idea, and have the proof of others making a bundle and then say, By the way the founders of the company are Christians." Like this suddenly made everything ok, a stamp of approval; but the bottom line was always the same, you are sold out to giving all your time, living, eating, sleeping and dreaming to the COMPANY as you wait to make your big score.

Seems to me God is about building my character and more interested in our (his and mine) relationship, then being only my banker and invetment advisor. Seems if i have read the word properly, is that i'm to get my heavenly bank account in order so when i pass into eternity i have something invested in my eternal future stocks, free from bonds. Enlightening bro, Blessings L.


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Ken,

This may seem crazy but reading your hub makes me think about Peter walking on the water. And as I read I thought what if someone asked him, when you get to Jesus, then what? The whole key to Peter walking on the water for me was that having a faith in the Lord is worth giving up the luxury of the boat. I wonder if he thought about losing the comfort of that boat? What happens when many come to Christ. They reach out to Him, Take hold of his forgiveness and salvation and then what? So much is gained when we invest in others and by discipleship teach them how to keep their eyes on Jesus and empower them to get out of the boat and walk on water.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Ken, This was a very good article and I agree with you completely. We all want those things you mentioned, like peace but where is the Lord in our priority list? He absolutely should be first, then all the other things will work out.

I am not getting emails for published hubs for some reason and I emailed the help section, so I just took a chance and dropped by to see if you had published something, and this was my reward. Good hub.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

I love that statement you made..."Christ be alive and well in our hearts!" Yes, the things of this world weight us down. To be free in Christ, is so awesome! Starting our day with God, is time well spent:) Time Everlasting, those moments with God are accounted for and will not fade away! Again, another Great Hub:)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

pmccray, Dave, Dusty, Saintatlarge, coffeesnob, Pamela & heart4theword - Please forgive this generic thank you. I am on the road for a few days & doing this on the fly. I appreciate each of your comments. Lots of truth & some good fodder for me to consider & perhaps sparks for another Hub. Thank you so much for your words of affirmation & encouragement. Peace & blessings to each of you.


H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 6 years ago from Lone Star State

You are a person with a mind that challenges others in the way that they think and perceive this life (world). Yet another great hub-that makes me stop and think about life a little more than I did yesterday (thanks a lot-like I don't think too much to begin with :) Just Kidding) Rated Up!

HC


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

HC - Thank you for your kind & flattering words. Are you trying to give me a fat head? :>) Blessings to you.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Very, very important and good hub Ken. These three topics you touched on get us in a lot trouble very quickly if we don't pay attention and stay on our gaurd! Thanks for publishing it!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Ann Nonymous - You're welcome. Thank you for reading & sharing encouraging comments. Always appreciated.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Beautifully written and exactly to the point. How do our lives honor God? Unfortunately, people get caught up in the world. I myself am glad to be FREEEEEEEEEE!!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Deborah - Thank you. Yes, it is always so easy to get caught up in the world. Peace & blessings to you.


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Wonderfully said Ken. It's so easy to get lost in things that really are not important. So hard to keep that balance, but easier if we start the day out right.

Thanks for a great hub


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Duchess OBlunt - You're welcome. Thank you for your affirming words. Much appreciated. Blessings.

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