The story goes that when someone asked a rich man (Getty or Hearst or somebody I forget) how much money was enough the answer was, “Just a little more.” Today I was reading Penelope Trunk and came across this quote,
“I used to think if I could just earn a little more money then I’d stop worrying about money. But no amount of money feels safe. And I know I’m not alone in this feeling. Daniel Gilbert shows, in his book Stumbling on Happiness, that we are hard-wired to not feel safe with the amount of money we have.”
If the Rich Man worries about needing a little more, and a well known author worries about earnings, and the human race worries about money then it’s pandemic. We need a cure.
Getting the right perspective on this money issue is a pervasive personal battle for me. In my thirties I got into serious choking debt. Every month I robbed Peter to pay Paul. I took out low interest loans to pay down high interest loans. I put off the payments I could to make payments I had to. I’d go to bed but rather than sleep I’d stare at the ceiling and imagine worst-case scenarios. The minute I woke up in the morning fear and anxiety would rush in. I felt like throwing up or sleeping in. Day after day I lived like this. I never want to go back there. When I see money in the bank dissappearing and (imagined) bankruptcy looming on the horizon the old fears start tugging at my heart again.
Here is Merriam-Websters’ definition of anxiety:
an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.
When anxiety knocks on my door I have to go to Jesus for help. Jesus knows financial struggle is killing the world and wresting away joy. To the rich man, the blogger, the father, the single mom, the intelligent and the average He writes,
“…Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air…And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin…But seek first His kingdom and His rightousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This is the cure. Oh for a vaccination to maintain right thinking.