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Just Visiting
by Marie Agustin
08/05/09
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I was looking at an attractive house advertised on the internet. It costs almost Canadian $800K. I was checking on vehicles as my lease is up in a couple of months. The present value costs, depending on the make and model, is between $21,500 to $65,000, if Romeo and I decide to buy. If we would lease again, it would cost $400 to $1,000 a month, depending on the make and model.

I was planning on my family's 2010 summer vacation. It's not cheap even if we have a timeshare. Airfare is not included in a timeshare, so i have to budget that roundtrip air fare, multiply it by four, add some tax, to get the gross airfare expense. If i add the rental vehicle, the perceived gasoline cost, the vehicle's insurance for the week, and, the cost of food for the week, i have a better idea of our budget.

So we work and work because we have a goal to go somewhere next year. And then we work again because we have to save up for the children's education. And we work again because monthly bills keep coming in. And we work some more because we plan to save up some amount when Romeo and I retire. And we work again because there's someone who needs help. It's a cycle of working, allocating, budgeting, spending, and working again.

When the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) is up based on my relative standard, i smile because it's time to redeem our investment and put it somewhere "safe" for our immediate needs. When the TSX is down, i check if we have some left overs to invest, as the unit prices are relatively cheaper.

Somewhere along those activities, i become busy and not bored, even if the cycle keeps on repeating. I could only see the right perspective whenever i commune with The One who gave me my life. He keeps on telling me that earthly life is temporary. The next life is eternal. So, i have to constantly remind myself and my family that we are just visiting. At some point we ride the "car of vacation plans", the "SUV of additional house purchase", the "van of vehicle shopping, the "train of education planning", the "submarine of retirement planning", and so on.

The financial planning, the purchases, the redemption, the admin work at home and in the office, they must develop our character - a character that honours God. Those activities must not wear us down. Consider every bit, every activity, as a joy ride. The fleeting joy reminds us that we are just visiting.

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