[notice] A fortnightly column by Anna Heydenrych[/notice]
While making some tea at work the other day, I looked out of the kitchen window to the street below. The neighbourhood where our office is situated is described by estate agents as ‘trendy and up and coming’, but I love that in amoungst all the trendiness , many of the original inhabitants remain in their ‘character homes’, enjoying the charms of our ‘heritage suburb’.
As I waited for the kettle to boil, I watched an old man leaning on his garden gate, having a chat with a neighbor. They looked like they had all the time in the world to enjoy standing around in the winter sun, enjoying each others’ company. I thought, now doesn’t that look nice. The saying ‘time is money’ came to my mind and I wondered if the opposite is true.
Relationships with others and with God flourish when we spend time on them, not when we spend money on them. If our focus is money, relationships will sometimes have to take a back seat. On the contrary, if money is time, and our focus is relationship, then the pursuit of money will have to take a back seat. Now, would this mean that our money would not flourish? We all need money to live and get by, as well as to pursue the things that God has placed on our heart.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
If we prioritise people and the pursuit of the Kingdom over money, it does not mean that we do not want or value money, it means that we are not willing to give away our time on this earth if it means missing out on God’s call on our lives. It means that we really really believe that the greatest achievement and joy to be had on this earth, is to spend our time loving others and doing what God has created us for. It would mean that we believe that if we were to miss out on discovering and becoming all that He created us to be for the sake of more money, we would be the poorer for it.
Now, before we go thinking we should all quit our jobs and stop working so that we can pursue the Kingdom full-time, let’s remember that working for a living and pursuing wealth are not the same thing. There is nothing wrong with work, for many of us it is where we have been placed and it’s where God is going to use us. Earning a living is good and working is good.
“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat. Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
So as I sipped my cup of tea and watched the old men having their chat, I thought about all these things, and decided that I am happy to have a job and to earn a living, but was inspired by the little scene on the streets below to remember that time is not money. In God’s Kingdom, the pursuit of money is precious time lost. I want my life to count for the time I gave to pursuing the will of God, and not for the time I gave away chasing earthly wealth. And I believe that as I do this, “He will give me everything I need.”
“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”