From the 2010 journal of G. Pernes

July 2010

An interesting question that was asked of me over Skype at work recently, “what will you do if, right now, if somebody gives you $50m?” Not that I don’t think about it at times, but I didn’t have any sensible answer at that moment, except to thank the philanthropist. The question went on to gather a thread of answers mostly hinged on materialism. One said, she’d buy a car, another said she’d stay in a hotel, leave her current job and be elsewhere.

I read on, and I still couldn’t give an answer in the veins of what they were peddling. If I were asked that same question 7 years ago I would have answered the same thing-get an imac, buy the complete Peanuts collection, quit school and travel. As I look back now, I cringed at how short my perspective was then. I valued the here and now so much and did not account the future.

Fast forward to the present day, when so much has already changed, I came across this study about lottery winners and instant millionaires, who squandered their riches almost as instantly as they won it. T. Harv Eker on lottery winners in his Money Blue Print program said “Research has shown again and again that regardless of the size of their winnings, most lottery winners eventually return to their original financial state, the amount they can comfortably handle.” One might wonder why this is so, Eker explained that the financial blueprint of these instant millionaires are skewed, focusing on what they can consume rather than what they can invest into. They have started with something big that they couldn’t handle.

This reminds me of a verse in the bible that says “Whoever is faithful in small things, shall be faithful in large ones…(Luke 16:10 NLT).” It dawned on me how we focus so much on the here and now, on the material things we want to acquire and amass that we just live mediocre lives and hand-to-mouth existence. In other words, our perspective are so skewed and short. Don’t get me wrong, though, I have nothing against the here and now, but if that is all we are living and hoping for then no wonder why we buy the lie that we don’t have sufficient reason to be faithful and persevere for the great things that God will entrust to us.

If we were entrusted with great things without being faithful to small ones, it will be the death of us, we will dry up and burn out. God is more concerned about our characters than what he wants us to do or have. Rightly so, because if he were to send us to make disciples of all nations without us being discipled first, or blesses us a big business without having the developed character and wisdom to run it, what glory would it give him?

A world war II story tells us of the allies coordinated a massive build-up of troops and supplies to support a large-scale invasion of Normandy, a small region in France. It was so small that the Germans never though it would not be conquered. But as history shows, the invasion of Normandy led to the restoration of the French Republic, and a significant turning point in the war.

Start small, dream, think, and learn big. The point being is that we have to have a larger and longer perspective and be faithful in small things. Life, after all, is like a chess game, where we have so many moves but we can only dispense them one at a time. And it pays to be 10 moves ahead. It pays to know what the goals and priorities are.