DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Life’s Quick Fix

Written by: on February 15, 2019

There is a story I once heard about God talking to a child.  The child asked, “God, what is a million years on earth like for you?” and God replied, “It’s like one minute in Heaven.”  So, the little boy asked, “God, what is a million dollars on earth like for you?” and God replied, “It’s like one dollar in Heaven.”  So, the little boy asked, “God, can I borrow a dollar?” and God said, “Sure, son….in a minute.”

Weber explored in his book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, that in the Protestant belief system, hard work helped you achieve your Heavenly status.  And with limited opportunities to get into Heaven, working hard was the key.  Per the author, religious devotion is usually accompanied by a rejection of worldly affairs, including the pursuit of wealth and possessions.[1]

According to Wikipedia, capitalism is an economic system based on personal ownership of the means of your profit potential.  Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”   Weber noted that the spirit of capitalism does not refer to the spirit in the metaphysical sense but rather a set of values, including the spirit of hard work and progress.  Religious devotion is often accompanied by a rejection of worldly affairs, including the pursuit of wealth and possessions.[2]  Yet, Benjamin Franklin coined a famous quote that ‘time is money’ – meaning time is equivalent to money.  But is time really money?  Not according to author Jonathan Swift, who stated that ‘a wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.’

In Matthew Kelly’s book, Resisting Happiness, he explored that when God looks at your resume, he won’t be looking at how much you make, but he will be looking at your availability to serve Him.   He noted in his book:

‘There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely into His hands.  People do not understand what they could become if they would let themselves be formed by His grace, if they did not ruin His plans by resisting the work which He wants them to do.’[3]

People are looking for their purpose in this world.  They are often just looking for the best way to find peace for their trials and tribulations on this earth.  I know that in my counseling world, my clients come to me and want a quick fix to their pain, their confusion, andtheirearthly struggles.  Through my person-centered approach, I believe that often people have the answers already within them through the grace of the Holy Spirit.  They just need the right questions asked to see a new perspective!

So, working hard isn’t always the answer to finding success and achieving one’s calling.  Poet Felix Dennis once stated that ‘people who get trapped into the tunnel vision of making money think that is all there is to life.’  But there is so much than protestant ethics and the pursuit of capitalism.  Sometimes it just takes asking the correct questions to find the right answers to God’s plan for our lives. 


[1] Max Weber, Peter Baehr and Gordon C. Wells, ed. The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit of Capitalism and Other Writings (New York: Penguin Books, 2002)

[2] Ibid.

[3] Mathhew Kelly, Resisting Happiness (New York: Beacon Publishing, 2016),

About the Author

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Nancy VanderRoest

Nancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and fulfills God's calling on her life by serving as a Chaplain & Counselor with Hospice. In her spare time, Nancy works with the anti-human trafficking coalition in her local community.

5 responses to “Life’s Quick Fix”

  1. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    This is an important reminder, Nancy. The machine of drivenness whether for power, prestige or money becomes an all consuming force that many get caught in. As a pastor or counselor it is always so sad to hear the stories of people who based their happiness in these things only to discover emptiness on the other side and usually broken relationships too. Especially when they are Christians who have allowed works to be righteously confirmed and are questioning why God allowed the outcome.

    • mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

      Sorry my blog hit the LGP-9 so late, but thanks for responding, Tammy. I agree that we question often why God allowed the outcome – when we should be looking within. Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Nancy, Thanks so much for your thoughts and perspectives. You stated, “Through my person-centered approach, I believe that often people have the answers already within them through the grace of the Holy Spirit. They just need the right questions asked to see a new perspective.” This sounds like you utilize classic coaching principles in your counseling world. You are so right, “there is so much than protestant ethics and the pursuit of capitalism.” Like you, I have found coaching to be life changing for both my clients and my coaches.

    • mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

      Thanks for responding to my blog that hit the LGP-9 site so late, Harry. I submitted it earlier, but guess it got lost in the many others blogs along the way. Hate when that happens! lol. I agree with you that coaching and counseling can sometimes be more life-changing for the coaches/counselors along the journey! Thanks for your input, Harry….

  3. mm Rhonda Davis says:

    Thank you for your reflection, Nancy. I wonder, in your chaplaincy work, is there a common thread in the end-of-life reflections you hear? I wonder if people are less likely to regret working harder, and more likely to express regret about living fuller.

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