What You Invest In Grows
I am a murderer. I murder a series of plants every spring and it is tragic. Technically, lack of water and attention kills my plants; however, I always get blamed for their slow agonizing deaths. I do not invest time and effort into having a beautifully groomed yard with pretty flowers. Honestly, I am just excited when the boys mow the grass.
Remember that phrase, “you have to spend money to make money”? In order for business to grow, investments have to be made in employees, products and infrastructure. It seems counterintuitive to spend time or money in order to see it grow. That is one of those laws that, like gravity, is a certainty.
Where Your Treasure Is…
This concept from Matthew 6:21 is not rocket science. If you are investing money in a 401K, you want to know it is growing. If you invest time in your children you expect certain outcomes. When we invest in time and service in our churches, we expect growth. Whatever it is in our lives that we prioritize is going to get our attention. We treasure it and it grows.
Sounds super simple right? Well, hold your horses. What happens when you invest in drama, gossip or degradations? That grows too. In a financial sense, you could invest all sorts of time and money in entities that are “too big to fail”, hoping they will make you rich. If they sink, your investment is not going to save them…it will ruin you. The same can be attributed to toxic people and situations in our lives. Once you have fulfilled your responsibilities to share the Gospel with them, you may not be able to invest all your time with that person or situation. To do so can pull you into the mire with them.
Guarding Our Investments
Finance is not my home. I cannot give you advice like Warren Buffet or practical tips like Dave Ramsey. I can tell you, what gets your attention will grow. It is important to invest our time wisely. In my case that meant finding time to protect and spend it with my husband. Some days that is a fifteen minute devotion and prayer before we go to work. Other times, it means leaving the boys at home with a pizza and going for date night. It means being intentional in my marriage. What do I mean by intentional? We flirt with each other. We tease, joke and act silly together. He is my first resource when I need a person to speak too or just need a hug. It means not letting my marriage turn into two roommates sharing the bills. My marriage is precious. It is not the only intentional investment on my list. My children need attention. My church family needs attention. If I am going to ever write for a living full-time, this blog and my book need attention.
Make Way For the Growth You Desire
I have a clear picture in my head of the life I want to have. It is balanced. I have my family, church and career in balance and I am fully enjoying the rewards of giving each investment the attention it needs. My picture does not include fancy cars, a huge house or really much of anything material. To arrive at the picture in my head I have to be intentional. I have to invest in the areas that need to grow. In this season of life, it means that my church and career are getting a large part of my attention. That does not mean my family is ignored. It means every effort I make in any of the areas of my life has to reflect quality time.
Remember the death march for my plants. They die from lack of attention and intention from me. A plant can be replaced and I can try again. We cannot replace the things that are most important in our lives. So be intentional. Water the garden of your marriage and family. Weed and prune as your career and ministry grow. Do not let your investment of time, effort and money be in vain. Tend it. Love it and watch how God prospers it.
In the meantime…I’m going to go price some artificial plants.