Pens and Faith

Does buying pens and other office supplies have anything to do with faith? I didn’t think so until last night. In these challenging economic times when dollars are scarce, it’s easy to give in to the fear that surrounds us. That fear often masks itself as “caution” and tempts us to hoard rather than spend.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of saving, but not hoarding. Saving is motivated by wisdom, hoarding by fear. Saving means putting a little away today to have something to spend tomorrow. Hoarding means putting something away today with the intention of never spending it. There is a big difference between the two. So that you understand that coaches are people too, let me tell you a story.

I didn’t realize how far down the fear road I had traveled until I started ordering office supplies last night. A week ago, I ran out of envelopes and I had finally got around to ordering them. As I clicked to put the envelopes into my shopping cart, I remembered that I also needed pens and highlighters and Post-It notes. Before I knew it, my cart was full; I’d even thrown in a fax machine, because my current one was on the blink. As I proceeded to check out, I could feel my heart rate increase…I was spending money, and I was uncomfortable doing so. After all, we’re in a recession.

Unemployment is up. Home prices are down. California is going bankrupt. Woe! Woe! Woe! I almost cancelled my order, but in a moment of clarity I understood that I needed these things. If my business was to keep growing and providing excellent service to my clients, I needed all of the supplies that I had placed in my cart. So I clicked on the submit order button and I actually felt good. I felt good because by buying these supplies, I was telling the world (and myself) that I believed my business was going to grow, not fail.

I felt so good that I finally placed an ad on Craig’s list for a new assistant, a task which I’d been deftly avoiding for several weeks. I went home that night feeling much better about my future than I did before ordering those office supplies. I had invested in my company’s growth, and I had finally started the process of finding a new employee. It was a good day.

To top it off, during my evening devotion time, Charles Spurgeon reminded me of God’s directive to the prophet Jeremiah to purchase a field during a time of Jerusalem’s greatest desolation. Jeremiah did it. He purchased that field and lived to see Jerusalem vibrant and healthy again. As I closed my eyes for sleep, I realized that Jeremiah and I had something in common. Who would’ve guessed that such a little thing as buying pens in a down economy could be considered an act of faith?

So I invite you to put aside your fear this month and take a leap of faith. What would you be doing now if times were different? Fixing something, buying something, going somewhere? Someone once said, “The person who stops advertising to save money is like the person who stops the clock to save time.” And I agree wholeheartedly. Don’t wait for things to get better before doing what needs to be done. Do what needs to be done so that things will get better. What do you think?

Coach Paul

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