Don’t Make Life a “Money Grab”
Money drives our economy, it dominates our thoughts, and the pursuit of it steals our time away from our families. If unchecked, it will deprive us of our precious moments that are fleeting and can never be recovered.
I’ve discovered that when I chase money for the sake of merely making money, I struggle and become frustrated, hard to live with, irritable, and generally tired and bored with life. However, when money becomes secondary and simply a reward for serving others, then life seems to align and my days become more pleasant.
Balance is a nice word that is rarely achieved, but must be pursued nonetheless. I want my family to be comfortable and to experience life full of opportunities. Many opportunities require money, like college, hobbies, entertainment, and travel. I work to earn money and to provide for my family; however, I must learn to strike a balance between earning money, experiencing life, and creating lasting memories that will carry me into old age.
My children need my income to survive and thrive until their old enough to go out on their own, but they also need me to love them and guide them as they learn to thrive mentally and emotionally in this world as well. It’s the balance, the constant struggle we all must face as we strive to live out our existence on Earth.
I once read about the tactics used to catch monkeys in the wild. The hunters cut out a hole in a pumpkin or some other large fruit just big enough for the monkeys to slide their hands into it, but too small for the monkey’s to pull their fists out once they grabbed the fruit from inside. The monkeys become so focused and obsessed with clutching the contents of the fruit inside that even when they could not pull their fists out as the hunters were descending on them, they refused to let go of the fruit and were captured. The sad part, if the monkeys would simply let go of the fruit and slide their relaxed hands out, then they could run away from the danger and be free.
Sometimes, we’re not far off from those monkeys when it comes to our finances. We become so obsessed with the “money grab” that we allow our lives to deteriorate to the point of ruin, when all we need to do is let go and allow life to happen instead of trying to force it all the time. I’m guilty of this. I spent the first seven years of my marriage chasing a money dream that kept me away from my family. I would often leave the house when the kids were still asleep and come home after they were put to bed. I left my wife alone at home all day to fend for herself with three young children while I chased money. I thought I was doing it for my family, when in fact I was doing it for myself, because if I truly kept my family’s interest in mind, I would be at home with them more and less out in the world chasing an extra dollar, when what my family needed most was my time and presence.
I’ve learned the secret to money is to serve others more and myself less, to take my eyes off myself and to give more freely and the money will take care of itself. I’m training myself to let go and allow my life to unfold with God at the helm and to just enjoy the journey, which is the process of becoming more of what God intended and to love my neighbor along the way.
If we learn to serve one another more and enjoy our time we have now and to not worry about our past and obsess over the future, then money will follow, for in the end, money is nothing more than a certificate of appreciation for the service of others.
I’ve discovered that life is not a “money grab”, but a lesson of releasing what we think is important, dying to our selfish ways, and then experiencing a rebirth to the glory and ultimate satisfaction of servant-hood. Go to work today, but do it because you want to serve, not because you want to make money. Who will you serve today?