It’s interesting as I think about the ritual of paying bills. I loathe the process, even though I’m glad there are funds enough to cover them. I am painfully aware there are many people who live pay check to pay check, trying to decide which bill they should put off in any given month. It’s after all a very important decision. When we are unable to pay our bill(s), interest builds so fast, it doubles the basic amount in no time.
Jesus found it important to pray before making important decisions. That blows my mind in a way. He was God…..yet….. He was a man. He deferred decision making to his Father. I wonder how often we even consider consulting God for advice for making decisions….even paying (or not paying) any particular bill.
Our culture has created the mindset that we can buy anything we want and have it now. It’s how we live. Many families have two, three or even more credit cards and each of these cards are maxed to the limit. That’s a scary thing---well it would be for me, anyway. I’m terrified of being in debt. Don’t misunderstand. We do have debt. We have a mortgage payment and a truck payment and then there are all the monthly utility, internet, satellite TV, insurance bills, and others that keep reminding me I have much to be thankful for!
All this focus on our checkbook has a way of cluttering our calendars, as well. When we pray about God’s will, which is one thing Jesus was careful to pray about, we become afraid that to do anything constructive will require more funds. Even if the funds include paying for gas or food items for a Christian gathering. Could giving to a missionary fund even be possible given our current financial situation?
Even if we could donate a little extra funds to a worthy church project, what in the world are we to do with the giving of our time? Our time (or lack of it) is often running neck and neck with our finances. There is little of it to share with anyone, especially if you have young ones who are in sports events or other extracurricular school activities.
Still, there’s a “catch 22” in this scenario. While funds are stretched to the very last limit for paying those credit cards we’ve maxed out, we seem to be able to find enough money to attend sports events, or buy extra sports equipment. (An extra fishing pole, bowling ball, golf club or even running shoes are absolutely essential.) Right? Add to this the monies spent on the snack foods (or meals) purchased at these events, or the coffee or other beverages while there. Or we've scheduled the manicure, pedicure or hair cut or coloring or shopping trip for a new outfit.... Well....it’s what we do! Suddenly we’ve found funds (and time) for those “things” we really find important--even if it's "just" adding to our credit card amount.
My point to all this rambling is to bring into focus how skewed our perspective can be when our checkbooks and calendars are placed side by side. They really are “best buddies.” But should they be? Should we put on our calendars those events and purchases, our checkbooks can’t handle?
Is it time we place both our checkbooks and our calendars at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to give us wisdom on how we manage both?