This summer I was planning to take a trip to the USA for ten days to visit a friend but, as of today, that plan is no longer going ahead. The main issue was the cost of flights; personally, I’m not prepared to do a transatlantic flight on a Boeing 757 and therefore am stuck booking with an airline like British Airways. All together it was going to cost me £800 and for a trip that will last all of ten days I, very sadly, had to decide not to go.
I was looking into the flights with my Dad; he’s brilliant at inspirational pep talks and tonight was no different. He reminded me how hard I’d worked in my job (which we both know I don’t enjoy at all) to make the money that I have, and that to lose it all for a ten day trip maybe wasn’t massively worth it. Last summer life gave me a great big kick in the teeth when I lost £700 after acting rashly and booking flights to California when I knew God was saying no. Ever since I’ve been so careful in spending money because I’ve realised that it’s from God so I shouldn’t take it for granted. I made another stupid mistake just before Christmas and ended up losing £50 when I thought I wanted to apply for a Canadian work visa with BUNAC. However, this situation could’ve been a lot worse had I gone directly through BUNAC instead of STA Travel, as I would’ve paid the full deposit off £100, and then ended up paying a further £75 to cancel. £50 is nothing in comparison to £175, and miles from £700. The fact that God somehow managed to get me to apply with STA Travel blows my mind but that’s a thought for another blog.
I have finally learnt my lesson and have become a bit smarter with my money, no longer ready to throw it all away for some big adventure. For a long time, before I started work, I was quite idealistic about money. I was so ready to “throw caution to the wind” and spend everything I had on flights to go half way across the world with no other real ideas in mind, but as of late I’ve had some revelations.
Before you take me the wrong way, I’m not suggesting you start “storing up treasures on earth”, what I’m implying is that money is a blessing from God, and we shouldn’t throw it away just because we can.
I’m 22 years old and I have so many ideas for things I’d like to do in life, but I don’t need to do it all now. I don’t need to kill myself trying to be the best and I have so much time to figure out what the good choices will be. It’s easy to spend money, to give up time, to use all your effort, and soon after realise that you can’t get any of those things back. God will never waste pain but if you have an obvious option to avoid that pain then it’s up to you to make the decision that helps you avoid it. Take my current plan for example: I’m applying to catering college, and then I’ll hopefully apply for a Canadian work visa and maybe stay there permanently if I can and open a cafe. If I have to skip the Canada step and open a cafe in the UK that’s okay too. This is what I really want. It’s easy to look a few months ahead and think, “I really want to go to America this summer” because it’s within my reach and I don’t really have to work for it. To eventually own a cafe I’ll have to work my ass off, and if that means I skip a trip to the USA when I’m 22 and save money that I one day put towards my cafe that’s okay.
I just think that a lot of Christians my age are afraid of not being these wild people who do everything spontaneously but it’s okay to not be like that. It’s okay to worry about life, as long as you bring your worries to God, because life can be really scary for 20-somethings in 2013. It’s okay to care about money, as long as you care about it because you realise God has blessed you with it, not because you think your life will end without it. Money is not the be all and end all, but it is important and a blessing.