As well as learning about American Football, writing songs and honouring people, I have another goal this year of a very different nature. I’m saving. Hard.
In just over 400 days, I will be 25 years old. That’s a quarter of a century. What the heck?! At some point in this merry little life of mine, I’d like to have a house, a wife and even some children and at some point, I’m going to need a fair bit of money to make that stuff happen. After all, houses aren’t cheap…and from what I’ve been told and observed, they’re much less expensive than the wife or children!! Therefore last year, showing an optimistic sense of due diligence, I began to count the pennies ever so slightly more carefully. In 2013, I intend to add a significant chunk to my little pile of notes hiding away in the bank. It’s just, it’s not that easy. So many things I want to buy, so little cash finances to support it! However, I’m discovering that when you compare saving financially to the idea of ‘living-life savings’, it seems to get easier. Let me explain why:
I’ve been playing the guitar for over a decade now. My ‘guitar playing account’ was cavernous and sparse when I first started. The ‘Mission: Impossible’ theme haunted me as it was the only melody that echoed around its walls. That was until I added the James Bond riff. Every day, week, month and year I’ve deposited some small piece of music, melody or little nugget of knowledge into that account until thankfully, I am blessed enough to be able to depend on these savings to share my knowledge with others and work full-time employing it. These are living-life savings.
When I first became a Christian, I knew practically nothing about Jesus, but had experienced His love and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was real. The Holy Spirit? Redemption? Sanctification? Theology? Just words to me that meant nothing at the time, but Jesus was real. God was real. I knew it. Since then, every word, Bible passage, experience or truth about God that I’ve gleaned has worked it’s way into my ‘faith account’, strengthening my relationship with my Saviour. When times are troubled, I know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love him. When I become consumed by my own selfishness, I can remind myself that in view of God’s mercy, I am to offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…for this is my spiritual act of worship…it’s about God, not me in all I do, not just the words I sing. When I fail, I am reminded about repentance and grace and when I succeed, I am reminded to walk humbly with my God. These are living-life savings.
I think of friendships. My friend Beth and I opened a ‘joint friendship’ account four years ago when I started teaching her guitar. Over time our awkward teaching arrangement progressed into a friendship and slowly but surely, she has become one of the closest friends I have. Every rehearsal, every episode of LOST, every spontaneous day, every adventure and car journey sends minuscule deposits into an ever-growing account, such that there are now few people in the world I could trust, honour or support more. So high is the balance in our account that we are as close after a relationship that didn’t quite work out as we were before the thought had even crossed our mind. These are living-life savings.
Suddenly, when I look at so many benefits from long term living-life savings, the prospect of saving financially seems a good deal more exciting. Incremental deposits create long term gain and if stewarded wisely, the financial gains could enable even more living-life savings to occur. Perhaps the house that I’m at the beginning of a long journey to save for will create more living-life savings that will impact me for the rest of my days. That makes it totally worth it in my book!