Friday, August 16, 2019

Enjoying All Good Things (Ecclesiastes)

I have lived with frugality almost all my life. Except in my late teens when I did not have a clue how to manage money, I blew away my savings from my scholarship from which I learned a big lesson. Spending money is easy but earning money is difficult. Borrowing money is easy but repaying debts is difficult. I try to live as frugally as possible. In my recent trip to Singapore to attend Trinity Lectures I only spent SGD10.00 to buy a Bible for my fellow pastor in Sabah. I resisted the temptation to visit my favourite bookstores at Ngee Ann City. In my six years in Singapore I hardly spent on anything except the day to day expenses. I was concerned how to get my son through University and all my six years' salary was used to support his studies first at Otago Boys' High School and then at Otago University.
When I got back to Sabah, my salary was reduced by 70% or more and I wonder how I was going to pay off my mortgage and my brother who first helped me to purchase the house. Out of necessity and the call of ministry I had to live frugally. Sometimes my pay was just enough to cover my fuel and car maintenance expenses having to travel from Ranau/Namaus to Kota Kinabalu almost every weekend. How I survived with leftovers is a testimony of God's grace and power in providing for me. I remember buying my first iPhone when I got the news that my son managed to get through a series of interviews and got his job confirmed after 18 months working on probation and contract. That was 2 years ago. Now I have breakfast at McDonalds having my favourite pancakes and coffee and I thank the Lord that I could live without fixed income and the sense of freedom and independence by being debt-free. Indeed God's Word is true: He gives his beloved all things to enjoy and in our mid or late 50s it is time to enjoy the fruits of our labour. This month I celebrate my 32 years of work (August 1987 I started as a legal assistant in a law firm in NZ) and 31 years after my admission to the Bar as a lawyer in Sabah in August 1988. But thanks be to God. He had taken care of all my needs for the Lord is my shepherd and I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).

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