I first learned the meaning of the word SHROUD when my son died some years ago when I was asked whether I wanted him to be buried in his own clothes or in a shroud. I still don’t know what he was buried in but that is for another day. The next time I had a conversation and the word shroud came up, was last year when two men came to deliver and install our fridge freezer. We had got talking when they found out that we were from Jamaica and one was particularly excited to tell me that he had visited Jamaica several times and that it was his favourite holiday spot. Apparently, he goes very often and when we asked how he was able to go so often he said: “there ain’t no pocket in a shroud, so enjoy your money while you can”.
Life is for living
I’ve thought about this a lot since then and I think I agree with him. Life is for living! I do think though, that we should live a frugal and intentional life so that we can enjoy a good quality life for longer. The ‘good quality’ though, is so subjective. It’s how we each see life, it’s what we enjoy and how we want to be. I think I live a frugal lifestyle. There are others who think they do too, but their life looks so much different from mine. The common factor is that we try to get the best deals on the products and services that we pay for. This is so that the money stretches more and lasts us longer.
How long do we have to live
This morning I read something quite interesting and I want to share it with you: Someone once asked famous evangelist Billy Graham what surprised him most about life, now that he was old (Graham was in his 60s at the time). Graham’s answer? “The brevity of it.”
However long we live for, it just seems so short. Even better, we don’t know how long we will live so it’s hard to plan to have just enough money to satisfy all our needs and to take care of us when we are older. We were chatting with a friend this weekend and found out about someone who was taking care of an elderly lady. Her pay was over $1000 per week! I was shocked as I thought there was no way I could afford to pay for that! I wonder if this lady had planned how she would be able to pay for care if she lived for so long. These are some of the things we have to think about, frugal lifestyle or not.
What about our family members
Another big concern is how we deal with our wealth (or lack thereof) in relation to our family members. If there are underage and dependent children then we are socialized to think that they are our responsibility. But what about when they get older and are no longer our dependents? Do you think we should prioritize looking after them? Or should we focus on our own needs? Whatever decision we make, the fact can’t be hidden: There is no pocket in a shroud.
Making wise decisions now because there is no pocket in a shroud
I would offer that we have to consider things now and make wise decisions that will leave a legacy for those we love. This could mean not just your immediate family members, but your faith community or church, charities you hold dear, and even strangers who you might want to bless. There is no pocket in a shroud, you can’t take money with you when you die. Well, you can, but it will be of no use to you. So how about living a good life now and also leaving a legacy when you go?
These are my thoughts for today. I hope it has provoked you enough to give some thought to how you are with finances so you make the very best use of it.