Friday, January 14, 2011
When is enough enough?
Have you ever watched a movie about an incredibly wealthy person engaging in one "last" money making scheme, only to lose everything they have? It's somewhat like watching a train wreck. Everything in you screams, "No, you don't need that - don't you have enough already!?!" Inevitably, they always take the chance, keep on accumulating their wealth, and most of the time, watch their family fall apart around them - so focused are they on the object of their affection - namely, money.
Standing in the middle of my well-stocked container, admiring my heaping full barrel of powdered milk, I had a flash of being that wealthy man. As I gazed into my beautiful barrel, I though "gee, I should probably start another barrel of milk - what if 55 gallons isn't enough?" In that one moment in time, I realized that a multi-millionaire, trying to attain that next $500,000.00 and I weren't so different. He keeps thinking "just a little more, and that will be enough. After my next million, I will retire and enjoy my family. I'll never have to worry about money again". Only, when the next million is deposited in his bank accounts, he needs another million. It is never quite enough. He needs that hedge of protection, that safeguard. As time goes by, his focus is narrowed to the point of being myopic. He sees nothing but the accumulation of wealth. His world crumbles around him, his family leaves him, and still, he accumulates.
As preppers, it is easy for us to fall into the same trap as those multi-millionaires. We scrimp and save and prepare for every eventuality. We buy wheat when most people are buying the newest electronics. Rather than wasting our money on a new iPhone, we buy Ham radios. We justify every purchase with the rational that our resources are being consumed by tangible assets. Soon, every available dollar is being spent on food stores, communications equipment, medical equipment or weapons and ammunition. Every time the commodity prices soar, we buy another 1000# of wheat. As the price of oil climbs, we buy gasoline in bulk, rather than paying those pesky medical bills. We become just like that rich man who is living for his next dollar, while his family crumbles around him, only in our case we are acquiring, acquiring, acquiring tangible assets for tomorrow, rather than living life to the fullest in the here and now.
Being the prepper that I am, I would never advocate not prepparing. Heaven forbid! My concern is that we are preparing for tomorrow at the cost of today. Yes, we do need to prepare. The time is now. The need is urgent. However, we need to do so with wisdom. Don't sacrifice your today for the what ifs of tomorrow. Don't spend all of your money on preps at the cost of paying your bills. Don't alienate your family by spending every waking moment meditating on the doom and gloom of the state of the state. Rejoice in knowing that "this is the day that the Lord has made". Don't spend all your time and energy accumulating. Teach your children. Love your husband (or wife). Praise your Lord. Know when enough is enough.