Published in  
Liturgies
 on  
March 4, 2021

Lenten Gestures - Investing

I’m from Nebraska where we are prone to figures of speech rooted in farm life. Not that I’ve ever lived on a farm myself, but rather when agriculture is a state’s largest industry, it shapes the imagination—and the language of its people.

Matthew 25:16

"The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents."

I’m from Nebraska where we are prone to figures of speech rooted in farm life. Not that I’ve ever lived on a farm myself, but rather when agriculture is a state’s largest industry, it shapes the imagination—and the language of its people. If you are about to take a giant risk, you might say it’s a bet the farm kind of risk. Or if you’re warning someone not to get ahead of themselves, you might say, don’t count your chickens before they hatch! Or, if you’re thinking about where to invest your money, you might consider the adage: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

It’s this last figure of speech that feels relevant to the Parable of the Talents. At this point in the story, we don’t yet know how each investment is going to pay off. We only know that the investor chooses to spread out his money. In other words, he’s not putting all his eggs in one basket.  

It might feel straightforward to think about diversifying our financial investments. That part of how we build wealth is by taking prudent risks along the way. Some of those risks will pay off and others won't. You can never really  be sure.

But what about resources that can’t be counted in dollars and cents? What about our time? Our energy? Consider if you’re spending or investing these resources. When we spend, it’s transactional. There’s something specific we’re hoping to get in return. But when we invest, the hope is multiplication. Plus, the results of investment aren’t fixed or guaranteed. So, again, we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. We don’t want to solely invest in one other person or our work or even one way of thinking.


But, on the flip side, we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin either. It’s why we must be mindful. So, consider how you’re currently investing your resources. Name what you’re hoping to see as a return. Make a plan for diversifying how you invest your money yes, but also your time and energy.


Art: Andrea Kraybill | "Pond Series" | watercolor and glue on matboard | 2020

Practice:

Using the diagram, identify your spheres of influence. Who is impacted by your decisions directly, indirectly, and on a macro level? (The macro level may include your impact on the environment or large scale social issues.)


After identifying your spheres of influence, consider where you might invest time, energy, and resources. Spend time in prayer and consider who within your areas of influence might benefit from your gifts and resources in a capacity that extends beyond what you're currently offering.

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