I recently saw something published by 'Business Insider' and it caught my eye. It was about money, not about pursuing Christ, but maybe we can use it to talk about some Godly principles, much as Jesus did when He taught in His parables, lets ponder just a minute.
At age 20, if you saved about $ 2 a day, or $ 61 a month, you could have 1 Million dollars at age 65, and that's not investing it, just saving it. But how many of us at age 20 had $ 61 a month to save, it was taking all of it to live, or so we told ourselves.
At age 30, that changes to $ 6.35 a day, or $ 193 per month. I can only speak for myself, but I probably could have done that at age 30, I just didn't discipline myself to do it, or know it would amount to a million.
At age 40, it's $ 20.55 a day or $ 625 a month, about what my house payment was when I was 40, but I wasn't in a position to make two house payments, so I probably could not have done that.
At age 50, my income was higher than at 40, but I would need $ 73.49 a day, about half my day's wages, or $ 2,235 a month to reach the goal of 1 million. For me anyway, couldn't ever happen.
At age 55, it doubles, $ 156 a day, or $ 4,749 a month, more than the average person makes, so that's beyond the reach of John Q. Citizen to even think about.
There was a time for me when it was doable with little sacrifice and effort, and had I disciplined myself, I would be a millionaire today. There were other times when it was doable, but it would have been difficult, yet I didn't do that either, I chose the easy way, to spend what I made on myself, and now a million will never be in my bank account solely by saving $ 2 a day..
Whether it's saving money or anything in life that calls us to discipline ourselves, the longer we put it off, the harder it becomes until, in the money example anyway, it was impossible for me and my wife, something we just could not do, ever! We no longer had sufficient income to even attempt accomplishing it.
So can we use this at all to help us look at Spiritual matters?
The Gospel comes at people of all ages, and each one must determine if they are up for the commitment it will require. Jesus in His teachings asked this question, "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?" (Luke 14:28) It is a cost to follow Christ, and we need to understand that where we are in life at the moment, young or old, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, all of these things influence our decisions, and to some degree determine what our cost will be. What will we have to give up? Are we willing to give it up? What will be new and different? Do we desire that enough to make the commitment?
Back to our parable, if we had jumped on our retirement savings plan at age 20, we know it would have required some insignificant sacrifice and a little self control. But as the years passed, we would have never regretted that decision, because maintaining that commitment would have been very doable @ $ 2 a day where as if we wanted to accomplish it now in our years just shy of retirement age, we would not have a penny for anything else. We would be looking back and asking ourselves 'why did we let our best opportunity go by?' But while worldly things such as this financial plan can become beyond our reach if we wait too long, Jesus never is, at least as long as we are breathing God's air. One great thing about accepting Christ, no matter life's circumstances or where you find yourself in them, He's there waiting, and while we live, that opportunity never goes away. And for some, it even gets easier as we get older and more mature in our thought processes.
So here's the question? Could now be the opportune time for you to follow Christ? Maybe you've let other opportunities go by, and now it's going to be harder, but before you answer consider this, there will never be a perfect time. Some people want to run around and be care free, with intent someday of settling down and living for Jesus. Some people think they are too bad, and want to get themselves straightened out 'first', then follow Jesus. Some people want to get a career established, or kids in school, or kids out of school, or any of a long list of things. Life will always give us an excuse if we want one.
We need to know something that scripture plainly teaches, "now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor 6:2) No matter what all else filters into the equation, today is your best opportunity to follow Jesus! We are not promised tomorrow. All the best intentions in the world won't get us to Heaven if they never become reality.
There will always be a cost to consider, always be things we must discipline ourselves to do or not do, and for sure, Satan will always encourage us to "just wait for a better time", while using today to get what we want in this world. Remember this command, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." (1 John 2:15)
Today, the real question isn't whether or not we are working to have a nest egg for retirement, it's whether or not our heart is focusing on that and other worldly things, or on seeking salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What will your answer be?
"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." (Acts 22:16)