One year ago, today, God taught me my second and third lessons. The importance, well the lack of importance, of money as well as how to spend. A year ago, I sat in the room across from and had to call the car rental agency I was renting a car from and let them know that I did not have a way of knowing when I would return the car. The only option I had, was to constantly call and push back my return date by the next day so that I would not be paying for extra days. If you have ever rented a car, you probably know how expensive this could get, because it is almost always cheaper to pay in advance for a set time. The rental car on top of the plane ticket I had to buy to go see mom seemed to add up in my mind, especially with the thought of having to pay for another plane ticket in the future. My step father said he would take care of it all of course, but I still was uncomfortable with anyone having to pay for so much, especially for a time like this.
I have been blessed to grow up without the worry of money. I always had a meal when I wanted, went to great schools, had great doctors, and was even lucky enough to get a car when I turned 16. However, I was taught incredibly valuable lessons about money, and the art of saving, budgeting, and being smart about it. These lessons seemed to not matter at the time though. I sat with Mom all day that day, as well as the day before, chatting with her when she was awake. I began telling her about the costs and stuff and she just said not to worry about it, but I couldn’t. I felt somewhat responsible and wanted to help, because I knew how important money was. Mom just looked at me and smiled and told me how proud she was of me and wanting to be smart with money, but money is not everything. She told me how when she got diagnosed a second time with cancer, money was one of the last things she was worried about.
Life is too short to worry about money so much. Mom told me that’s why she sold as much as she could and moved away from the city, so that she could focus on what’s truly important, her life. That’s why she finally began going on trips and vacations (Something she hardly did when she worked), she was finally living. When I took this blog, and all mom’s writings and journals, I found a page with an entry. It was a small entry, only a sentence, but so powerful to me. It read:
“I’m worried, because I know that when the time comes that I truly live, is when I will die.”
The words seem as though she wrote them after she passed, because of how true they were, but that entry was years ago. Mom passed away, just as she was beginning to truly live. She understood though, that money is important, but so many things are much more important. When you understand that, you understand how to spend, not money, but life.
You can spend money and you can spend life, and you can almost spend both similarly. You can waste your money just as you can waste your life, or save some money and save some of your life. However, the difference is in the measure. There are trillions upon trillions of dollars in the world to spend, but each person has only one life to spend. How a person spends their life is much more important than how they should spend their money. I would have happily spent every penny I owned, given up everything I had, to keep Mom here. However similar life and money may seem, they are not currencies that can be exchanged, so spend them wisely.
Matthew 6:19 – 21; “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”