I walked into my investment adviser’s office and informed him I wanted to move my investments out of the stock market. I listed various and sundry reasons for coming to this conclusion. Mark is good at what he does and I trust him. He encouraged me to stay invested backing his opinion with solid evidence. But what struck me most (in addition to the fact I was making money) was that people who are successful at investing stay invested for the long haul, recognizing there will be both up and down periods, and that is just part of the gig. After sharing his opinion, he asked me to consider all the options and let him know what I decide. I conclude that my initial reasons to pull out were based on fear; so, I decide not only to stay invested, but to invest regularly or as Mark says,” to put hay in the barn.” I have not regretted my decision. This gave me pause to consider what I have invested in for the long haul. I came up with what I call the big three. Time, money and relationships.
Where I spend my time defines what’s important to me. Sometimes. Unfortunately, I make the all too common mistake of thinking I have more time than I really do. Bad idea. Time, like money is spent once. Time is finite and should be one of our most precious possessions; but I find myself wasting it. What’s up with that? I work better with a time budget, using deadlines and lists. Too much free time and my productivity decreases. And here is a mind-blowing thought, just because I am busy, doesn’t mean I am productive. Busyness often makes me feel better about myself at that moment, but the danger is that it becomes a distraction from what is important, which is usually something I am avoiding doing, which may be the thing I need to do most. Like serving someone other than self. Time spent loving on others is never time wasted. And yet there is a balance to be struck, human beings are not simply human doings and it is beneficial for us to simply be. We of faith are commanded (it wasn’t suggested) by our Creator to take a day of rest. Then we are investing in resting which is a good thing. Time is precious, I must remember to invest it well.
How I spend my money defines what is important to me. JC said, “where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). What’s do I treasure? My shiny new car? My house, clothes, jewelry, bank account? My loved ones? Supporting spreading the good news of Jesus Christ? Helping the poor and needy? Things are not bad, in and of themselves, but begs the question, do I really walk the walk or just talk the talk when it comes to how I spend my hard earn bucks? Why do I not hesitate to drop fifty bucks on something I want and hesitate to donate to yet another worthy cause? Jesus Christ talked more about money than anything else because he knew how invested our hearts get in stuff. He knew things would be his greatest competition as savior. I’d be lying if I didn’t say at least half of my sleepless nights have been money related, because I was invested in the idea that money would save me, it had become my God, my savior. Bad idea. I can’t take my money or my things with me when I die. But I will take Jesus Christ with me, if I have invested in a relationship with Him for the long haul. Money is helpful on this earth, but it will never save me. When I invest my heart in my things, the stock market of my soul is bound to crash.
Who and what I spend my time with defines what relationships are important to me. I have relationships with loved ones, food, money, time, friends, places, things, with myself and with my work. Most of my life I chose not to invest in and ignored the most important personal relationship of all, my relationship with God. It is no wonder my life was out of kilter. When asked what was the most important commandment, Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). Yup, all of me. That is the most important, and most neglected I dare say, of all our relationships. And if we are not right in this relationship, all others will be disordered to some degree. And like my financial adviser, God gives me solid evidence for staying fully invested for the long haul. History proves that those who put hay in this barn while staying invested for the long haul, through life’s inevitable up and down periods- which are just part of the gig- have the best return on investment. God is good at what He does and I trust Him. The payoff being better relationships with everything and everyone; peace that passes all understanding and eternal life in the presence of Almighty God. All He asks is that we consider all the options and decide for ourselves. The choice is yours to make.
Time waits for no one.
How much hay is in your barn?
Invest for the long haul. ©
Be joy filled always,
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