I attended a men’s faith group recently and had a good discussion with a friend prior to the start of the meeting. As is often the case, I learn so much wisdom from others simply by listening.
Dwight came over to a table where I was sitting alone, and we started the conversation with pleasantries. Knowing that he owns a business, I inquired how work was coming along.
He said, “Man! We are super busy! It never slows down for us!”
I mentioned to him how I no longer work the crazy hours that were part of my schedule in the past. In my 30s and 40s, I would easily put in 70+ hours per week.
What You Own Might Someday Own You
After a few minutes, Dwight noted, “You know, Jimmie, my dad often reminds me that what I own might eventually own me. I can buy a bigger house, a nice boat, and other material stuff. Down the road, though, in some way, these material things will own me.”
It did not take long for Dwight’s comments to hit home. It’s so easy to want more stuff. For some reason, these material things make us feel better, at least temporarily.
It seems like social media has increased the desire to showcase what we have purchased. We post a picture with our new car, the classy watch, and the beautiful vacation.
The focus is on showcasing how much we own. It makes us feel good when others know that things are going well for us.
The conversation with Dwight reminded me that I need to have a better balance in my life. Yes … material things should matter to me, but I should also focus on other aspects of my life, including spending time with my family, serving others, and just being a terrific friend.
During the past several years, I have increased my volunteer efforts. I participate in several church-related ministries, including Hospitality, LOVESTRONG Marriage, Men’s ACTS, and That Man Is You.
From these experiences, I’ve learned the value of giving without expecting anything in return. When I take the time to serve and to help others, my own life is enriched.
I recently gave a testimonial during a men’s bible study, and some of the participants thanked me for my honesty and vulnerability. The point here is that while I’ve had significant success in my career, I’ve faltered many times in my personal life.
I’m unsure how many more years are in store for me on this beautiful earth, but I want to make each day purposeful. I want to make my wife happy, and I want my children to be proud of me.
I do not want to be at the mercy of the stuff I own. Instead, I want to own my future.
Before ending our conversation, Dwight said to me, “We now have 6 kids, and I want to spend as much time with them as I can. I’ve learned that the material stuff comes and goes, but the love and care we give to others will never be forgotten.”