One time Jesus told a story about a man who gave three of his servants a whole bunch of his money and left on a journey.
When he returned, he called his servants to see how each of them had used this money in his absence. Two had invest the money and turned a profit, while the third got all terrified of life, buried his money in the ground, and gained nothing.
Investments are tricky like that. They’re all about taking calculated risks, which can be a scary proposition for many of us.
Thanks to my lucrative careers as both a writer and a teacher, I’ve never really spent much time dealing with monetary investments. I’ve instead spent a lot more time investing the far more precious and non-renewable currencies of life, and often doing so poorly.
Whether we realize it or not, each of us is born with a slate of investable items. We’re born with a heart, a set of talents, and time, all of which we can invest in people, causes, or projects as we so choose.
A lot of responsibility comes with the decision of where to invest because these are all limited items. You only have so much of your heart to give away, your talents can only stretch so far, and you have less time to spend at this moment than you did when you started reading this blog.
Because of our limited resources deciding how we best put them to use is a critical task and can become quite daunting, and even terrifying.
That fear can lead us to burying our valuables in a coffee tin in the backyard, rather than putting them to use.
For me, it’s my past investments gone wrong that most often cause me to go running for the coffee tin. It’s the irrational idea that history will always repeat itself exactly, which is totally false because if so we’d never have a single scientific or cultural advancement. Sure, there are a lot of loses in life, but loses don’t negate the possibility of success.
But regardless me realizing this, when my investment terms begin to mirror those of past poor deals, I get scared and become cautious. Don’t get me wrong, caution is good when it comes to our valuables, but when the fear of failure overrides the calculation of success, we tend pull out, go hide, and waste our potential.
I think Satan loves it when we let our pasts rip away at our potentials. I think he takes joy in that paralyzing fear because he knows it prevents anything new and good from being produced.
So my fourth resolution for 2015 is to invest me wiser and without fear, in that order, and see where my potential leads.
What will the investments I make yield? I don’t know.
But I know exactly what I’ll have if I make none — nothing.
I just wasn’t made to be buried in the ground like that.