I have always enjoyed this gentleman’s writing, and this essay is no exception. He has a profound way of creating clarity with any subject. What are you doing with your 25,000 days?
Twenty Nine Dollars and Thirty Cents
I just got back from spending six weeks in Wellington, Florida. Wellington is situated near a little town called “Loxahatchee,” where thousands of bumper stickers proudly proclaim that folks there are happily living the “Loxlife.”
Now I’m still not sure exactly what constitutes the Loxlife, but I can report that just down the road from Loxahatchee is West Palm Beach where the local paper reported an interesting crime last week. It seems a fellow stole a coin collection valued at $34,000. The clever thief quickly took his looted plunder and hustled down to the local Publix grocery store and emptied the treasure into a Coinstar machine which counted up the coins at face value, deducted a service fee of 11.9%, and spit out a ticket for $29.30 which the resourceful robber promptly cashed at the service desk.
I began pondering what sort of a numbskull swaps the price of a shiny new Toyota Camry for the price of two replacement windshield wiper blades. Then slowly it dawned on me. We can all be just such numbskulls. Numbskulls R Us.
Compared to 80% of the world’s population we’ve been given wealth beyond measure, yet we cheerfully exchange it for $5 cups of coffee and $2 scratcher tickets one day at a time and then wonder why we come up short at the end of every month.
We’ve been given a measure of health, but we happily squander it away sitting in front of the television night after night eating Cheetos and drinking Diet Coke.
We’ve been given families that we ignore while staring mindlessly at our cellphone hour after hour watching fools taking the Pacqui one-chip challenge or pouring buckets of ice water on their head.
Each of us has been given gifts and abilities which languish and die because we’re too afraid to step out and take a risk in front of others.
Most of us will be given about 25,000 days on this earth and we exchange those few precious days for a tomb by binge-watching Breaking Bad, Dexter or Game of Thrones.
We exchange real-life friendships for online acquaintances.
We exchange healthy, God-given food for man-made poison.
We’ve been placed in the midst of a world of hurting people, desperate for good news while we remain focused on the latest trade rumors of our favorite sports team as we sit glued to ESPN Sportscenter.
In short, most of us are sitting on unimaginable treasure– with an expiration date. Yet we willingly exchange that treasure for $29.30 worth of foolishness when our life-clock finally runs out.
Eugene Peterson put it this way in Psalm 90:12b in his “Message” Bible paraphrase: “Teach us to live wisely and well!”
Lord, help me to see the true value in all you’ve given me. Help me to see my life as far more than the face value of $29.30 worth of tarnished old coins, but rather help me to see my life as the treasure it truly is… and help me to invest it wisely. Amen.
© 2019 Steve Lambert