Hear ye, hear ye! I have identified the twin thieves conspiring to rob us of the relationships in our lives. Their names are Materialism and Busyness. And their domains of operation are money and time. But do not fear, I have learned how to apprehend them. All that is needed to keep their thievery in check is vigilant attention to their stealthy ways. And what are they, you ask?
Well, the Bible informs us in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Notice money itself is not evil but rather the love of money, or what is later called greediness. Beyond the level of our needs being met, money often proves to be a fickle lover. Chasing riches for their own sake is a fool’s errand.
The antidote minimalism provides is the conviction that meaning is not found in money nor the stuff it buys. Rather, by living simply we are free to explore nature, celebrate experiences, and enjoy relationships with other people, which research has proven to be the best investment of all. If you find yourself neglecting people in the name of providing for them, you need to realize that it is your invaluable attention that your loved ones crave, not another token of your love!
And James 4:14 reminds us, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” What many of us fail to realize is that while the clock ticks away, if we are consumed with expending our precious time (our only nonrenewable resource) in the vain pursuit of more and more money (yielding diminishing returns over time), our lives ultimately will be void of meaning. Rather than merely giving lip service to the place of relationships in your life, how about giving the people you love the most valuable commodity you own: your time?
In the age which we live, with all of its ubiquitous technology and countless means of connecting, none of us has an excuse for not staying in touch with those we say we love, for love is an action. Most of us own multiple communication devices, not the least of which are the smartphones we carry with us all the time. And each one enables us to call, email, and text messages to communicate with others. So, rather than “like” virtual strangers, let me encourage you, in the words of the old commercial, to “reach out and touch” your loved ones by contacting them…or at least hitting “reply.”