CAMPBELL RAYMENT: Money is great, until it begins to own you

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Talking about money can be uncomfortable, and just as uncomfortable as talking about politics and religion.

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Especially when the Lord Jesus Christ states in Matthew 6:4, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Yikes! I need money to survive! It’s right up there with oxygen when you don’t have it! And Lord everything seems to have gone up in price.

Thich Nhat Hanh tells the story of the Buddha having a silent lunch with his monks in the woods.

A farmer comes rushing by and asks if they had seen his cows, which left him that morning.

The farmer bemoans that the loss of his cows will create hunger for his family. Insects have already devoured his crops. If he doesn’t have milk to sell, his family will suffer.

The Buddha tells the farmer they have not seen his cows and he should look somewhere else.

Once the farmer leaves, the Buddha turns to his monks and said, “Dear monks, you are very lucky. You don’t have any cows to lose.”

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I think the cows represent anything that distracts you, creates worry, and keeps you up late at night.

There was a time that the “cow” once brought you happiness, but the repairs, maintenance and fear of losing it has perhaps become an unhealthy obsession.

I think money represents a “cow” in the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Money worries can certainly keep you awake at night. It can rob you of sleep, inner peace, and joy.

Yet money itself is neutral. It is what we do with it that creates a “cow” mentality.

Do we work long hours, stress and worry about our jobs to earn more only to spend more?

As I stated earlier, I am not against money or items that we purchase to bring us joy. A nice car, boat, a wonderful trip create time with family, joy, and opportunities to relax.

Yet if we overextend it can become a “cow” and so can the things we purchase with our hard-earned money.

Jesus, I believe, is saying, if money becomes an obsession so much so that we forget God, the originator of all things, we may need to reassess our thinking.

What is your “cow”? What keeps you from connecting daily to the Essence of God? What is so loud that it drowns out the still small voice within?

My friends don’t allow money, or any other “cow” steal your joy, inner peace, and connection to the One Essence that connects us in love.

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