Is It Ever Really Yours?

“Money is never owned.  It is only in your custody for a while.  Time is always running on, and the young have more of it in their pocket than the richest man or woman alive.  This is not sentimentally speaking.  That is a sober fact”

This is an excerpt from the book How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis.  Mr. Dennis is a media and print mogul who founded many magazines and papers most famous of which is Maxim Magazine.  The title of the book is a little misleading because Mr. Dennis wrote the book not as an attempt to show people how to be rich, but to give them a behind the scenes peek of how toxic and strenuous the journey for riches could be.  It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.  When I read this excerpt about money/riches it reminded of a concept that was shared with by a minister at a church I attended.  It is the concept of Whole Life Stewardship.  This concept says that we never own anything in our lives.  We are only stewards of them.  This includes our time (how we spend it, who we spend it with, etc), our treasures (our monetary resources and resource of measurable value, and our talents (our occupations, skills, and abilities).  Some of us have a particular set of skills.  Skills that we have acquired over a very long career.  Skills that make us a nightmare for people like…….END SCENE (excerpt from the movie Taken in case you were wondering where I was going with that.  I digress.

The idea behind whole life stewardship is simple.  If we don’t own these things, and they actually belong to someone else, then we are more likely to take better care of them and manage them in a manner possibly better than we would manage them if we owned them.  For example, my lawn more sits in the shed on the side of my house.  I only put gas in there after it has run out.  I never clean the grass clippings off of it after mowing, and I only put oil in when I smell the oil vapors burning.  However, if I borrow my neighbor’s lawn mower I tend to return it in better condition than I found it.   This is how we should live our lives.  People of faith believe that everything belongs to God and we are just entrusted to manage it. Others believe it all belongs to mother earth and we have a responsibility to protect it for future generations.  Regardless of which approach you believe, the reality is you will never see a U-Haul trailer being pulled behind a herst.  We simply can’t take it with us.  So if we can’t take it with us, is it really ever ours? 

What would our world look if people truly embraced a lifestyle embodied with the concept of whole life stewardship?  Crime would be down/eliminated. Corruption would be down/eliminated.  Poverty would be down/eliminated.  Employee productivity would be up.  Relationships would be solid.  I could go on and on but I will end with these questions:  Are you being a good steward of your time, talents, and treasures?  If not, what is stopping you?  If so who should you be helping.  Are you checking in with your manager?