When I was a boy, my grandparents went on vacation to Colorado one summer and brought me back a white plastic wallet with a mountain scene stamped on front. Inside, there was a coin pocket that snapped shut and on the other side, a stack of clear sheets in which to put pictures. Most importantly, there was a place in the back to put bills. Cold.Hard.Cash. This hidden slit in the back of my wallet quickly became very intriguing to me, not because of the design, but because of what it could contain. I remember saving up dollar bills from allowances, birthday money and Christmas and housing them in the wallet. At one point, I saved up about forty dollars. I cared for those bills like a precious pet. One day I remember getting frustrated that all of my bills weren’t fitting appropriately in the wallet. Needing more space, I came up with a brilliant idea. I got out the iron and meticulously pressed each and every one of them (some with starch) so they would lay flat and fit perfectly in the wallet. One day, I remember laying each bill side by side on my bed and dreaming about the security they provided and that I now had the power to buy. You may be thinking, “no, that’s just sad”. I share that story because it’s my earliest memory of feeling an attachment to money.
Several years ago, I read a book called The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. It’s a tiny, yet comprehensive book that shares wisdom from the Bible about money. One profound idea early in the book is, “…there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money.” I had never thought about this before. Could it be true that the way I manage my resources (sharing, saving and spending) is somehow connected to my spirituality? I would argue that ironing dollar bills proves that connection for me. Check back on the blog over the next few weeks and I’ll share some thoughts about this very connection.