Aloha Friday Message – November 21, 2008

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Are your investments going out the window? Are you changing the way you invest? Do others have a vested interest in your future? What about your investments in your children, your loved ones? Are you invested in your work? How much has your boss invested in you? What the heck does invest mean anyway?

Well it can mean to make use of for future benefits or advantages, or to involve or engage (especially emotionally), and of course to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return.

Investing, investments, being invested – these are all future-focused terms and imply planning. The roots of this set of words carry the connotation of surrounding or being surrounded by clothing or decorations, power, or authority. When we use the word invest these days, we’re usually thinking about money – and more specifically about losing our investments. The news is full of stories about monumental losses over the past year resulting in the world-wide economic crisis we must confront. It may change the way people invest because it will certainly change the way people plan.

If I pull back to get the forest, rather than the tree, view of investing I see this: When one invests, one takes current resources and uses them in a way that has the potential of increasing future resources and thereby increasing future value. That process always includes risk. We’re willing to risk our money in the hope that we’ll make more money by investing it. We hope to improve our children’s lives by investing in their education. We talk about stewardship of time, talent, and treasure as an investment for the community. In all of those things there are an infinite number of levels of risk ranging from “practically no risk at all” to “life-or-death risk.”

What are you willing to risk for happiness. How about for love? What will you risk for financial stability or even financial independence? What about God? What are you willing to invest for Him? And in each of these potential investments, what are the returns you expect? Ah. Return on Investment, the measure of the success of our investment strategy. I’m going to cut to the finale here because if I don’t this thing will balloon like a 1993 mortgage.

The best investments you can make in any part of your life, in any economy, in any ecology are in love and in God. Pretty much one and the same, so I’d encourage you diversify a bit and include “neighbor” in your love investments, “self, too, just for good measure. As for your investments in God, you just have to bank the return of his investment in you. Keep working on using up the gifts He gave you. The risk is negligible and the pay-off is guaranteed to be immense and eternal. The more you use the gifts so freely given, the bigger and better they get, and they continue to increase in size and value eternally. Pretty good investment, eh? Here’s the cool thing: The original investment by God in you was a Gift. Keep investing it for him, and your gift will be God himself.

Thanks so much for investing time in reading these. You honor the giver by accepting the gift, and my gift to you is the love we share as we invest ourselves in each other and in God.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever — at your service.

Chick

PS: As for the other temporal investments in your life, be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16) and use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (Luke 16:9)

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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