“You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Matthew 6:24-25
Some years back I vacationed in San Antonio with the pre-teen children of friends. We had a good time. We spent one day at Seaworld. Another at Fiesta Texas. We floated on inner tubes on the Guadalupe River. (See L.O.G. dated March 2002) We watched the bats fly from the old train tunnel east of Fredericksburg. I can’t say we did anything overtly spiritual, but the Lord sure did speak a lot of things into my spirit during that trip.
One thing I noticed was the kids’ relationship to money. To begin with, they didn’t carry any. Oh, maybe five or ten dollars each to buy trinkets. We grownups held the cash, which we doled out as the need arose. “Here, go get something to eat. Yes, you can buy that, ride that, watch that. Here’s the money.” For the kids, it was all about having fun and the money that made the fun happen was inconsequential to them.
The Lord spoke to me in that. These kids had a godly attitude toward cash. They didn’t try to hoard it. They didn’t depend on it to make them feel safe. We, the adults, were who made them feel safe. The money was just sort of there, in the background, fueling the old vacation machine.
Like many of you, I was reared on post-Depression values when it comes to finances. That means something different to each of us. To me it means I would feel most comfortable with my debt at zero, three month’s salary in a savings account, and a positive cash-flow (preferably a big one!). I have spent many years worrying about how I might reach these most elusive financial goals. I haven’t yet.
A few years after that San Antonio trip I was alone in a hotel room in Chicago. I remember clearly it was late afternoon and I was complaining to the Lord that I had always had to take care of myself. That I had never had anyone to take care of me financially. I did not have a husband to relieve me of the burden of worrying about money, to strategize, to plan, to tell me what I could and could not spend. It was in that moment, in the stillness of that summer afternoon in the AmeriSuites, that the Holy Spirit spoke. “I’ll take care of you.” It was no audible voice, but it was so clear in my spirit that I had, and to this day have, absolutely no doubt I heard the voice of God. As the prophet Isaiah spoke, my Maker is my Husband.
I resolved from that day forward never to worry about money again.
I wish that I could tell you in the years since that afternoon my three-step financial comfort zone has become a reality. Wouldn’t that be a nice testimony? I have neither zero debt nor three months salary saved. But what I have gained in these years is an attitude toward finances that much more closely resembles a child’s than it does my parents’ or grandparents’.
If we’re admonished to approach the Kingdom and its ways as children, and if faith is action, then maybe I’m on to something. Maybe this attitude is the beginning of not only my financial wholeness, but of me becoming a wellspring for others. Time will tell. I’m on vacation from my worries for a long time now. I’m not eager to return to them.