Being Rich, Being Poor – Taking Risks

rich-vs-poorFor the sake of this discussion let’s suppose that the rich and poor, over the course of their lives, take the same amounts of risk. Let’s  define “poor” as people who live paycheck to paycheck or worse.  Let’s define “rich” as someone who can stop working today and sustain their lifestyle for one year or more with no additional income.  If over the course of their lives they both sustain the same amount of risk the question becomes, why does one live their life financially rich and the other poor?

Here’s the difference. The poor take their risk a sip at a time but everyday of their life.  The wind of life always oppose them. Everyday they walk into a 10 knot headwind. The resistance never stops. They can never reach their dreams just only progress enough to get them to the next day.

The rich take their risks gulps at a time. Their risks are shorter in duration but those durations are extremely intense, like a hurricane. Hurricanes have minimum 75 knot wind’s and often drop 12-36 inches of rain in a 3 day period.  Both the poor and rich take the same amount of risk over their life, they just take them in different quantities and segments of time.

The risk the poor take is the relentless fear that if they lose their job they’re instantly in financial hardship, they won’t be able to pay for the unexpected expense, or buy the sport car they’ve always wanted, or take a special vacation, or help anyone outside their immediate needs.  They try to save a little at a time, but eventual, either knowingly or unknowingly, accept they’ll never see their dreams come true. Their only hope to get ahead is miraculous intervention or winning the lottery. The poor think by getting off work at 5 o’clock on Friday they are risk-free for the weekend. The reality is that they live every weekend with continual erosion of their dreams and resignation that they’ll never having enough to do the things their heart truly desires.

The rich on the other hand take their risk more like a hurricane, that is in shorter but much more intense segments. If the risks pay off they have windfalls of cash and rest from financial risk for extended periods. If the risks don’t pay off they are left with a much bigger problem to solve.  So the question becomes would you rather eat your risk a little bit every day resigning yourself to never seeing your dreams come true, or eat your risk in heaping spoonfuls but have the opportunity to live risk-less for elongated periods of time until you have to take the next hurricane sized risk?

If we all face the same amount of risk over the course of our lives wouldn’t be nice to have someone to help us carry the risk? This is where faith comes into the picture. Faith gives you the courage to face intense quantities of risk in condensed periods of time. Prime examples of this are David & Goliath, Joshua & Caleb, Sampson, all 12 of the apostles or in other words all the heroes of faith named the Hebrews 11. Faith causes you to believe that you will not only sustain those storms of risk but come out after the storm with great rewards. This is why without faith it’s impossible to please God. The substance of the oak is in the acorn. The substance of what you desire is in faith. Faith is in the Word of God.

We all exercise faith in our life. The poor exercise faith to believe for the payment. The rich exercise faith to believe to write the check upfront. The nearly imperceptible erosion of your dreams by facing risk a little everyday is like paying interest on a loan. It will always cost you more than to face risk in intense but shorter time segments, like a hurricane.