Investments and Returns
I’ve found that investment always produces return. Sometimes it’s not what we expect, but the law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but changes form or is transferred. I know that the amount of investment I put into something is directly proportionate as to what return I get. The trick is to take the time to invest!
What to invest
Well, most would say, “I have no money to invest, so that leaves me out.” Really? What about time? What about effort? What about knowledge? There are so many things you can invest that you are left out only if you choose to be left out.
My college music professor once asked me, “Danny, how often do you practice?” My reply went something like, “Well, these days I usually don’t practice much because I’m playing all the time.” Then he said it – “Remember something Danny. There’s someone out there with half your talent that will go twice as far because they take the time to practice.” That piece of advice has stuck with me my entire life!
Being “salty” takes investment
Being a musician, I can say that the better I know a song, the better I can make it sound. Last Sunday I was hired to play a service. A few of the songs I knew really well, and then there were 3 pieces I’d never heard before. I can sight-read music, so I could play it. But I couldn’t add much “salt” to it. This means I had to keep it simple and basic so I hit correct notes instead of doing funky licks and runs – which can make an average song really stand out!
The more I practice a song, the better I know it. The better I know it, the less I have to think about it. The less I have to think about it, the more I can think about what cool things to do to make it something really special! But if I don’t spend any time practices and getting to know the music, I’m just being average, or even below average!
What to invest in
I use music as an example, but what about your job. The better you know your job, the less mistakes you’ll let slip by. You’ll be able to spend your time polishing your work instead of just trying to figure it out. This is why continuing education and hands-on experience means so much.
What about relationships? Would you say the better you know your spouse or your kids, the easier it is to be the best you can be to them? Spending time learning the love languages of those around us can pay huge dividends! I mean, if I’m always buying my children gifts when what they really need are words of affirmation, I’m getting a diminished return on my investment! They’ll love the gifts, but they’ll really love the encouragement! Taking the time asking them, “How can I love and support you” can be a simple way to learn someone’s needs – and save time trying to figure it out.
And especially, in my walk with Jesus Christ, the more I know the heart of the Father, the better I can see what he’s trying to do in my life. Instead of wondering why I’m going through the things I am going through, I try to get in the word and see what God might be trying to teach me in this moment! I know one thing, my Father’s heart is for my good, not for my demise (Jeremiah 29:11) and He wants to give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). I think for too long I’ve been praying for God to change His mind about what I want when prayer wasn’t meant for that. If my prayer is constantly trying to change His mind, I am wasting my time! God never changes. But what does? Our hearts can change.
My prayers lately have been to help me align my thoughts and desires with what God desires for me. When I come around to His way of thinking, I’ll have the peace and contentment I am looking for. So instead of “wrestling” with God, I think I’ll invest my time to get to know His heart more. I’m going to end this blog now so I can read some of His word. Happy investing all!
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