05 September 2011

Eternal Investing

This phrase has been on my mind a lot lately, and I can’t take credit for coming up with it. When I was growing up, my Mom often challenged me and my siblings to invest—time, money, and emotions—into things that are eternal, rather than those things that are only going to last as long as this world does.
Like I said, I was told about eternal investing while I was growing up, and it has always been in the back of my mind. The concept has definitely influenced the way I live—but I am beginning to think that I have not yet let it influence my lifestyle to the extent that it should. The reasoning behind eternal investing is that, throughout our lives, we are constantly investing our time, money, and emotions into various things. Some people invest a lot of time into work and accumulating money. This is not a strong pull in my life, as my greatest ambition is to never have a steady job, or make any money worth speaking of. Others invest their time into various hobbies. Currently, my favorite hobbies are scrapbooking, making jewelry, and working on my dollhouse. These hobbies take a lot of time and they definitely cost money. In fact, I even invest my emotions into these hobbies: I feel very passionately about my precious dollhouse.
But the fact is, a job, even one that you love, isn’t going to last forever. Someday, my dollhouse is going to fall apart, and the other crafts that I spend so much time on really are not going to last that long either. When you spend time watching television—no matter how much you cheer for your favorite team—you don’t get an eternal return on that investment of your time.
So what can we invest in that is eternal? We really don’t have a lot of choices here. When we start looking at what is really going to last in this world, I can only think of two categories of eternal significance: your relationship with God, and every human on the planet. These things are eternal, and I am convinced of the necessity of investing more of my own time, money, and emotions into these things.
When I need to decide between calling a friend or catching up on my scrapbooking, I need to choose the eternal. When I need to choose between going to a family function or hitting up a good sale at JCPenney’s, I need to invest my time into what is eternal: blessing my relatives and encouraging them. Doing the most mundane chores, I believe, can be investing into something eternal. When I make a delicious supper for my husband, I am investing into his life by meeting his need for food and showing him that he is loved and cared for by his wife. Chores as simple as cooking and cleaning can be an eternal investment, under the right circumstances! I want to start intentionally investing in the lives of my family and friends, and investing in my personal relationship with God, rather than letting those investments happen accidentally in the midst of my busy life.
It’s just something to think about…where are you investing?
Anonymous said...

Excellent post Rachel...I recently posted on FB that "Love is a renewable resource" and I think that ties in a little with what you are saying here.

Every time we extend grace or love to another human being, we are absolutely investing in something eternal. It would seem, we are stretched the most, when we are uncomfortable and face situations where the person needing to be loved has some obstacle or impedement that interferes with demonstrating love to them. It's very easy to show love toward someone who is otherwise loveable or who loves you back. A greater challenge comes when we are called to extend grace and love toward the folks with warts and generally unpleasant blemishes on/in their lives, especially when they are your own family members, or church family members etc...That is not an easy thing to do and doesn't come naturally for most people, including myself...But I do practice grace and pray for grace and humility on a regular basis.

Where am I investing my time? In my husband, children, church, friends/family, my community, volunteering in the public school on a regular basis (the needs in our community are huge, and it is a true blessing to serve and extend God's grace/love this way) & my art...Even though "art" may not be eternal per se, it is a powerful way to communicate and impact others. To Him be the glory!

Anonymous said...

He ate the most nutritious foods. He took his vitamins every day. He exercised four times a week. He never smoked or drank alcohol. He was ready to live 100 years. His funeral will be Wednesday. But his number one mistake? He did not invest in God. "The harvest is past, and the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20
On a slightly different note, animal lovers and tree huggers who invest a large part of their lives building shelters, parks, planting trees, etc. Can we say they are eternally investing? The word of God does say care for the earth and it's inhabitants. But they will come to pass. I guess I just want to say humans are much more precious and eternal. Sometimes it seems so much easier to love an animal than our own brother or sister. said...

Rachel said...

Oh Angel, no fighting!
Thanks Aunt Brandie, the link is a good one too!