By Fletcher Farrar
My friend Fletcher, a member of Wisdom & Money’s Boston Retreat Circle, recently responded to a Wisdom & Money gift invitation with a reflection on his journey with money and spirit. When I asked if I could share it, he graciously said yes. Rose
I ask God why I was introduced long ago to Ministry of Money, which became Harvest Time, now Wisdom & Money. It was February 21, 1992, almost 28 years go, that I first showed up in Iowa for a Mo$ workshop. A saying from the Taize community – “We need to give ourselves up to seven years to let go of everything that is not indispensable – beginning with what we spend on prestige.” – was one of my takeaways from that gathering. Since that time I have experienced many money projects and prayer, and the experience that began in Iowa has had a major impact on my life. But letting go of everything, I am still working on. Give me seven years.
This adventure with money and spirit, or, as we say, with “flow,” has not only been about my past three decades, it is also for my future and the future of my family and my businesses. From what I’ve learned and what I’ve done, and what I hope still do, I feel accomplished and empowered. God has given me a purpose and a direction. It makes me feel that I am important to God’s plan. This matters to me, but not just to me. God’s heart is in this, too.
Where is there another group like Wisdom & Money? What an unusual outfit we are, teaching that our money and spirituality are one, that we are best when we give ourselves and our resources away, that we help each other most when we share with each other the details of our lives, including financial statements, and that there is always more to learn. Through this special ministry, working with and through many people, God has been able to accomplish “abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.”
On my recent trip to Jerusalem, God’s promises to Zion in Zechariah 8 spoke to me. Good things are coming. “The streets of Jerusalem shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets.” And, “I will save my people.” To get ready for the coming blessings, for the “sowing of peace,” we are told to do two things: “Let your hands be strong,” and “Do not be afraid.” The instruction is repeated, “Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.” It is a message to me, with my small business, and with my church and my family. To me strong hands means to be rigorously faithful with money, but not reckless or stupid. It is also a message to Wisdom & Money. Good things are coming. Do not be afraid. But let our hands be strong.
It is relevant to this theme that I am sending a smaller check than usual this year. It doesn’t feel quite right, but maybe my charitable contributions have outpaced my income, and I am trying to recover from a large gift made largely with credit last year. It could be I was motivated partly by prestige. In any case, I think I’ll be stronger if I don’t give as much this time. I may be wrong, and if Wisdom & Money needs more from me now, please let me know.
God has a purpose for Wisdom & Money. The world is sick with money. Others like me can find salvation n the language of gift, and in the comfort of community. Thank you for your leadership and strong hands. Thank others in leadership for their courage in the face of plans that don’t work or budgets that don’t balance. May God bless this ministry, that it may continue forever.