SPIRIT OF PATIENCE
How time flies my beloved son James. All of sudden Sunday has dawned and I still find myself alive. Without reminding me, I will agree with you if you are looking forward to the continuation of my response to your inquiry.
My beloved son, as I run the race of life I realise that the whole world appears to be in the ultra-fast lane, which leaves me wondering whether the reckoning of time for our planet has changed. In spite of man’s insatiable appetite for very fast changes to our lifestyle (including the acquisition of wealth), I wake up every morning to realise that it still takes the very slow 84,600 ‘tick-tocks’ (seconds) to signify the end of a day. The wise, loving Heavenly Father has not changed the reckoning of time.
New appetites are being developed each minute and at a very fast rate too, especially in the ‘toy’ (cars, phones, electronics, etc.) industry. So is the crave for money too, to keep up with the fast changes.
I have previously indicated to you (in the ‘Spirit of Contentment’) that I am not competing with anyone, for which reason I am running at my own pace. For me, my priority is finishing the race, but not how fast I run.
When it comes to how fast one can make money I hope I don’t give you the impression that I am a human being who just dropped from the planet of Mars. I like to make it too but I have learnt my lessons. You came into my life at a time I was already done with games of chance like lotto/lottery and scam experience. This must be about 35 – 40 years ago. I had my first lessons in GREED the very hard way then, during that brief period. Because of my impatience, I ended up in the soup pot of a scammer. It simply became a no-go area. I was not going to risk the success of my life/future in the hands of CHANCE.
For those of us who have not inherited fortunes (money/material things), successful investments will be a long-term effort and could very often be generational in nature. We probably might do the sowing (all the hard work) but be harvested by our children.
I was bequeathed with the greatest fortune, THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. I didn’t inherit monetary fortune as I would have wished. This situation did not discourage me though. I thought of the Saviour’s Great Atoning Sacrifice for me, the great glorious eternal blessings promised me, and decided to make the necessary sacrifices for the sake of my posterity. Ironically, my family and I became the first beneficiaries of that wise decision.
What most of us look forward to is instant/immediate gratification. We want to reap investment benefits in our own lifetime, and quickly too. In the process, we become easy prey for financial scams. This get-rich-quick attitude/greed is what has led many respected, learned, rich/poor, innocent/well-intentioned investors to their financial slaughter. The result? DESPAIR, DESPONDENCY, DISCOURAGEMENT, DEPRIVATION, DISASTER, DESTRUCTION, DISGRACE etc.
Recently, I saw a live representation of these descriptive words in a very well-built, young man, a victim of a financial scam, who said to me “Daddy, something is happening to me” It was a very sad spectacle. Looking at his age it was likely that there were other mouths which depended on him.
Some, according to them, used a loan from the bank for their investments. For them, it is a double agony. Some victims have attempted suicide, others have been afflicted with mental/physical ailments, some have had their whole world turned upside down. I have been involved in predicament management counseling sessions with some of them (ironically includes prestigious bank workers).
The rippling effect of that one unwise decision could be really catastrophic.
How then could we prevent such grim illustrations? Successful management of our financial affairs requires effective decisions. These effective decisions become possible as we apply such spiritual gifts as the Spirits of Wisdom, Discernment, and Knowledge. This is especially crucial when taking investment decisions.
At this point my beloved son, I introduce to you the SPIRIT OF PATIENCE. Wisdom, Discernment, and Knowledge are children who are usually born and bred by one of their wonderful parents called PATIENCE. I believe the other parent might be Time. I have usually encountered the two work together. Please understand that in talking about patience it doesn’t have to be misunderstood to mean idleness or laziness.
As you have learnt from my previous letters/epistles you realise that this wonderful spirit is no stranger to me. My beloved son, I will always say with pride that I owe much of whatever I am today, to the tutelage of this Spirit/Mentor/Teacher. The Spirit of Patience is one of the greatest characters I have ever met. His tutelage/grooming/mentoring is usually very slow and painful. Much of the world don’t appear to like him, but when the results of his tutelage begin to show you will like him.
Patience ensures that we are rewarded through experience. In all my apprenticeship in this mortal life, he is one of the greatest masters I have been honoured to have.
Usually, when I am confronted with requests for counsel, I am quick to point out that I will not give counsels that are necessarily pleasing to the ears but that which has been taught me by my master, Patience.
My beloved son, I can perceive you will be wondering that if the tutelage is hard and painful “why allow me to go through it?” To this I provide the following response:
My beloved son James, as I patiently undergo my apprenticeship under his tutelage, he is bequeathing to me Knowledge, Wisdom, Discernment etc. Interestingly, he is doing it in a manner that leaves these spiritual attributes ingrained in my spirit/DNA, in a way that I don’t need property rights laws to protect. Because the experiences are uniquely mine.
Successful investments require Time. It is usually a long wait. Probably not less than about 25 years. I can perceive you asking, “25 years is such a long time. What about if I die before then? If I had undertaken investments for the sole purpose of being the beneficiary, for which reason I may not have been motivated to go ahead with investments, my family and I would have been the first casualties/victims to be devoured by such short-sightedness/selfishness (see the previous epistle of ‘The Spirit of Thrift/Providence ‘). How could I have provided about GHC 25,000.00 + US$6,000 (amount has been updated, excludes my son’s expenses) for health needs, only about two and half years into my retirement?
My beloved son, I perceive you are thinking “but this money could have bought two second-hand cars?” Agreed. I however want you to understand that for me, there is nothing more wonderful than enjoying good health. Paraphrasing Pres. Hinckley, ‘The cause of most of man’s unhappiness is sacrificing what he needs most for what he wants now‘
In initiating the investments I understood that I was going to plant a tree whose shade I might not live to enjoy. For me, the thought that I could leave a legacy for my posterity was motivating enough.
The flip side is that if you cannot endure the long wait, you were likely going to end up in the sumptuous soup pot of a Ponzi scheme. This is as true as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west. Our inability to wait is one of the major reasons Ponzi schemes/scams thrive. The perpetrators know we are impatient when it comes to money. At this point, the Spirit of Contentment has been extremely beneficial.
Because I am satisfied with basic needs it has been possible to endure the long wait. In my whole life, I have found Patience to be very reliable in bringing me seemingly impossible results. About eleven years ago, an employment restructuring was undertaken in my workplace. This affected a number of employees including myself. A large number was sent home but I was to suffer a demotion. Ironically, that particular year required very great sacrifices from my office to put certain fundamental systems in place, in my department.
My beloved son, I don’t know whether you can picture in your mind, a situation where an advertisement of vacancy for the position you occupy, has been placed in an area where all employees use to their offices. Every morning I was confronted with seeing this advert of declaring my own position vacant before I entered my office. In short, I was no more needed in that position. Because of the position I occupied, the advert for the vacancy was placed both locally and internationally. This was an indication of the enormity of the situation.
I didn’t take any hasty decisions, but I don’t know whether you understand the probable emotional torture I would go through each day as I entered my office. To cut a long story short, I guess somehow a replacement was never found? I don’t know the answer my son, please don’t ask me. What I do know however was that as I bore my soul in patience there was a divine intervention.
I can hear you probably asking “but what has this story got to do with investments?” I tell you this story so that you might know how you can trust Patience to deliver results. Alma 34:41 reads: “ But that ye have PATIENCE,….. with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions”
I BELIEVE THAT FOR MOST OF US HONEST MONEY-MAKING WOULD GENERALLY BE A GENERATIONAL, PAINSTAKING, PATIENT-INTENSIVE VENTURE. Consequently, I would entreat you, my beloved son, not to look for shortcuts.
You must understand that God, our Heavenly Father, is himself an epitome of patience. The Great Plan of Happiness (Plan of Salvation), pivoted by the Great Atoning Sacrifice is a representation of Heavenly Father’s UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and his preparedness to be patient with man, so that He achieves the intended results. He has given me, his child, 2,161,530,000 seconds (70 years), during which time he waits patiently for me. This is how patient he can be. Consequently, such attitudes as greed and impatience do not elicit spiritual support from the heavens.
As I bear my soul in patience by living in diligent obedience to commandments I elicit heaven’s commitment for divine intervention to achieve results.
You yourself will bear me out that I was always in a hurry to achieve excellence in all I did, but never in a hurry to make money.
My beloved son, please don’t forget, I am still addressing attitudes/attributes/spiritual gifts helpful in successful investments. The spirits of Truth, Contentment, Thrift/Providence have been addressed in previous letters.
In conclusion, my beloved son, it has been interesting writing to you about one of my greatest friends Patience. In him you will find a great companion/mentor/teacher, and who will ensure you manage your financial affairs successfully if you allow him to help.
At this point my beloved son James, I say with Job 5:27, Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.