Ever made out why you seldom hear preaching based on the book of Ecclesiastes? Well, I will tell you why. Ecclesiastes cuts you the bitter side of the pie. It poses intricate questions and at shallow looking, can be said to be too discouraging. It’s no wonder only a handful of pastors base their teachings on the book. I’m saying this without fear of contradiction because I have been on the salvation path since November 23 2003, all thanks to my late buddy Martin. As you could have guessed, I follow all the famous preachers on YouTube, sermons on this are rare.
‘What do people gain from all their labours at which they toil under the sun?’ poses a verse in the book. These knowledgeable words as written by one of the wisest and richest Kings in Christian history will form the basis of our opine today. When you think it through, it’s true that indeed we work so hard that life cruises past us without us noticing. A pure tragedy of getting shackled in routines, but when the curtain eventually folds on us, we rot away as second and third parties eat our sweat merrily toasting to back to back happy hours. This is indeed the vanity of vanities.
Walking back a little to science, space and time are intertwined. According to Einstein’s special relativity theory, if an object is moving in a straight line at a constant speed, the laws of physics will be similar for everyone. Have you ever been on a train and got the impression of an adjacent train moving? Was it really moving? On the same context, can you take a soda or read a book in a car moving forward in a straight and smooth highway at a constant speed? What happens when the car accelerates or turns, can you pour a drink in a glass?
Let’s assume I’m driving my Subaru Forester at its maximum speed in a straight line towards the East. In this case, I am making no progress towards the North because all my speed is going East. If I turn my Subaru at a slight angle towards the North and continue moving at maximum speed, my speeds toward the East will start to reduce because some speed will be used to move north. The more the speed in the Northeast direction, the more the eastwards speed reduces. If I move northeast at the speed of light, then I won’t make any progress Eastwards. In a layman’s language, my Subaru exists in time and space. So, when it moves in time it loses space and vice versa.
Now let’s picture money replacing North and time replacing east (think of a simple two-dimension cartesian plane). I have all the time, but when I set out to look for money, I start losing my free time, the same way my Subaru starts losing some speed towards the East when it starts moving northeast. Well, I don’t have training in Physics post-secondary school, and my arguments may not make sense to those guys with post-secondary physics training. Nonetheless, my point is that you cannot have both money and time just like a moving object can’t have both space and time. You tend to lose to gain.
Let’s take a basic example of Chelsea. Chelsea is a researcher who spends time reading and writing papers and earns good money from her trade. On the low end, she doesn’t have time to cook or do her laundry. What follows is Chelsea spending money to compensate for the time lost by acquiring a washing machine and take-outs to sate her hunger. Consequently, Chelsea can hire a house help in which case she will take time looking for money, but will have to use a percentage of the money earned to compensate for time lost. This explains why we hire electricians, mechanics, plumbers and carpenters even though these are simple skills which can easily be learnt by anyone if you have time.
If I’m being raw on this subject, it’s no secret that in this generation we tend to focus more on money than leading a quality life. With no ounce of judgment, it goes beyond saying that we tend to hold money, wealth and fame as our ‘demigods’ forgetting the true Messiah. The emergence of city life and technology has pressured us to acquire as much wealth as possible. Some will say you must sacrifice for your generation, leave a legacy and not a liability! But the bigger question is, is it worth to lose your life for the good of your generation? My bible assures me that a righteous man will leave an inheritance to his third generation. I have lived through many seasons. In my time, I have seen rich men die, and their children start begging for bread! How catastrophic?
Microeconomics classes were my cup of coffee as a young boy in Chepkoilel campus. My favourite lecturer, who took us through the unit, once told me that there is nothing like free lunch. That’s because scarce resources were used to make the food, and someone is paying for it. He always nudged me to make a choice for everything I want but keep it at the back of my head that I couldn’t get everything I wanted. I know you will agree with me that the life you are living now is as a result of a choice you made in the past. As we grow, adult life presents many decision-making opportunities. We choose someone to date, a place to live, a house to buy, a friend to keep, church to attend, among others. Likewise, we can choose time to spend with our family, kids or spend our time working and doing business. It is not easy!
In my previous blog on less or more, many people argued it is essential to find a balance instead of being a minimalist or a maximalist. This is backed by the underlying price determination model where the quantity demanded equates quantity supplied bringing the market at an equilibrium. I am just wondering how much time and money we need to get the balance. Do you have any idea?