Commitment: Investor or Trader (4)
In his newspaper column called “Market Report,” Bill Barnhart once explained the difference between investors and traders in the stock market.
“A trader in a stock,” writes Barnhart, “is making decisions minute-by-minute in the hope of shaving off profits measured in fractions of a dollar.… An investor, on the other hand, typically buys or sells a stock based on views about the company and the economy at large.”
In other words, traders are wheelers and dealers. They pursue short-term profits. Traders may have no confidence whatsoever in the companies in which they buy stock but they buy, smelling an immediate payoff.
By contrast, investors are in it for the long haul. They “chain themselves to the mast.” Investors commit their money to a stock, believing that over a period of years and even decades the stock will pay strong dividends and steadily grow in value. Investors aren’t flustered by the typical ups and downs of the market because they believe in the quality of the company, its leaders, and its product.
In the kingdom of God there are also investors and traders. They come to Christ with very different goals. Traders in the kingdom want God to improve their lot in this world. If following Christ means pain or hardship, they sell out.
But investors in the kingdom stay true to Christ no matter what happens in this world, knowing that eternal dividends await them.
Eternal, Feelings, Rewards, Suffering, Temporal
I feel that, if I could live a thousand lives, I would like to live them all for Christ, and even then, I would feel that they were all too little a return for His great love to me.
Tim Bowden, in his book One Crowded Hour about cameraman Neil Davis, tells about an incident that happened in Borneo during the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in 1964.
A group of Gurkhas from Nepal were asked if they would be willing to jump from transport planes into combat against the Indonesians if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right to turn down the request because they had never been trained as paratroopers. Bowden quotes Davis’s account of the story:
“Now the Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on this occasion they provisionally rejected the plan. But the next day one of their NCOs sought out the British officer who made the request and said they had discussed the matter further and would be prepared to jump under certain conditions.
“ ‘What are they?’ asked the British officer.
“The Gurkhas told him they would jump if the land was marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops, because they were inexperienced in falling. The British officer considered this, and said that the dropping area would almost certainly be over jungle, and there would not be rocky outcrops, so that seemed all right. Was there anything else?
“Yes, said the Gurkhas. They wanted the plane to fly as slowly as possible and no more than one hundred feet high. The British officer pointed out the planes always did fly as slowly as possible when dropping troops, but to jump from 100 feet was impossible, because the parachutes would not open in time from that height.
“ ‘Oh,’ said the Gurkhas, ‘that’s all right, then. We’ll jump with parachutes anywhere. You didn’t mention parachutes before!’ ”
Any church could use such Gurkha-like commitment and courage.