Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Dreaded 'B' Word

I hate to admit this, but there is a word that I just absolutely hate: budget. I don't know why I hate it, but I do. I guess to me the word budget means 'poor' or 'not enough money'. On a deeper level, 'budget' represents restraint and lack of freedom. I am a spendthrift. I love to shop. Actually, if there were a spiritual gift of shopping, I'd operate quite strong in that gift. Now, even though I'm a spendthrift, I am at heart a bargain shopper. As much as I love to shop, I really hate paying full retail for anything.

Lately, God has really been dealing with me regarding my spendthrifty ways. I know that I have to establish a budget, but I've managed to ignore His heed. Well, I'm here to tell you that God has a sense of humor. Almost a year ago, I started a new job. Part of my responsibilities is to manage the department's budget. Basically I thought I'd just track expenditures. As it turns out, it's way more involved than that. I have to monitor spending, assist with developing the budget for each fiscal year, and a host of other related things. This is no small budget, either. We're talking over a couple million dollars. Aack!

This is really stretching me because it's totally out of my realm of experience. The funny thing is that I'm very careful with the department's budget because really, it's the public's money. So, I started thinking: If I can do this for man, shouldn't I be even more responsible with God's money? No sooner did my thinking on this change, when my church announced they were starting an eight week budget class. Hmm, is God not speaking? The good news is that I start tomorrow, and I'm pretty excited about it. Who knew I'd actually look forward to talking about a budget?