What is more precious than money you ask . . . time, of course. Spending time together is what someone will remember, it’s called memories. When you have the money, you don’t have the time and when you have the time, you don’t have the money. It seems the two are never available at the same time.
Time well spent is more precious than gold. Parents work hard and long hours to buy things for their children, when all children need is their time. Their time to nurture, teach, and build character. Men in relationships feel pressure to buy diamonds, flowers, houses, cars, etc. to impress the women in their lives. When all they need is to take the time to know who they are trying to impress.
You can save money to spend at a later time or endow to family members in your will. But time waits for no man. Once that time is gone, you can’t get it back. Spending time with love ones used to be commendable. Now spending is commendable. Time is what you need to live. Money is just a resource during that time!
When you are living… you thank God every day you wake up, regardless of your limitations! When you are surviving… you wonder why God has forsaken you, regardless of your blessings. When you are living… you enjoy the riches of the earth and the sounds of the birds as they sing. When you are surviving … you only see the man-made riches of this world and can care less about a bird!
Living is finding peace in your heart and mind. Surviving is maintaining doubt and fear in your soul. Living is breathing. Surviving is choking. When you are living, you want to share your story with anyone who will listen. When you are surviving, you don’t want anyone to know.
Living is what I am trying to do. How about you?
Companies spend billions of dollars in marketing annually . . . making sure you believe that you must do the same. There are ads everywhere you go encouraging you to spend, spend, spend. Most of these ads don’t even tell the truth about their product and your safety. Other ads give too much information about their product. They tell you in advance that their product might cause death. Yet, we still spend, spend, spend. “Saving” does not seem to matter in today’s global economy. People shop and buy based on available money to them. Some people live above their means, thinking all is well. Other folks live below their means wondering where the next dollar will come. But wealth is in the character of the person not in the material possessions owned.
In 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke at The Bowery Mission, a rescue mission in New York to about 500 poor homeless men and said the following words:
You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom.
Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious. Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches.
This earth’s happiness does not depend upon wealth. You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone.
God has not said that there are mansions prepared for us if we pass our time associating with the rich, but He has said there are many mansions prepared for the servants of the poor, for the poor are very dear to God. The mercies and bounties of God are with them. The rich are mostly negligent, inattentive, steeped in worldliness, depending upon their means, whereas the poor are dependent upon God, and their reliance is upon Him, not upon themselves. Therefore, the poor are nearer the threshold of God and His throne.
Jesus was a poor man. One night when He was out in the fields, the rain began to fall. He had no place to go for shelter so He lifted His eyes toward heaven, saying, “O Father! For the birds of the air Thou hast created nests, for the sheep a fold, for the animals dens, for the fish places of refuge, but for Me Thou hast provided no shelter. There is no place where I may lay My head. My bed consists of the cold ground; My lamps at night are the stars, and My food is the grass of the field. Yet who upon earth is richer than I?
WHAT are you doing with your money?
Many people believe that if they had millions of dollars they would be happy, but most of us cannot budget the money we are earning now. Create a workable budget and stick to it. Devise a savings plan for a desired possession. Set aside funds for emergencies and unexpected circumstances. Plan for retirement and the future. Tithe.
Don’t let your money manage you . . . manage your money! Take a class, hire a financial consultant, talk to an accountant, or research about money management. Get control of your finances and watch your resources multiply.