In the few years that I worked, I had managed to save up some money. Ridiculously, work took up so much of me and my time that I had little energy left to spend the money I earned. So it was not without a sense of pride that I watched my bank account grow, sometimes by leaps, sometimes by bounds.
I was happy to rest secure in the knowledge that I could go out and indulge in a $12 ice-cream, as much as I could buy a $500 8-megapixel camera phone, or take a $4,000 trip to the US. All of which I did at one point or another. Which was a big deal, if you know how stingy I am.
Except that now, I look at the life of my friends, with hunger and desire. I see them move into newer and more expensive housing. I see them go on trips to exotic lands. I see them buy a $200 dress. I see them settle into a $50 meal without flinching. I see the freedom that financial independence brings, as I come to terms with giving up that freedom.
How often have I tried to convince myself that I am a worthy investment? That pouring my life-savings into my education now will bring significant returns on investment in the future? That I should not freak out every time I have to pay my school fees? That I have to get used to the austere and Spartan lifestyle of a student? That I have to treat $20 meals with respect and distance?
I am not a greedy or materialistic person. But I would like to enjoy a cup of Starbucks’ coffee every now and then. I would like to wear pretty new dresses sometimes. I would like to enjoy the Kenyan safari too.
And the Bible says, “Do not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”