Gone to the Dogs: A Lesson in Investment

I am not much of a gambler, but some time ago I went with friends to the local dog track. I must admit, it was a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere, and we enjoyed just watching the dogs. Then someone suggested we should place a bet. I wouldn’t normally, but I thought that on this occasion I could afford to join in the fun. So we all chipped in 20p each, and managed to scrape together enough for the minimum bet allowed.

Between us, we put £2 on Number 3 in the next race.

As the race was about to begin, we all took our places at the rail. Then they were off! Number 3 got off to a good start. He rapidly moved into third place, behind number 5. We cheered him on, urging him to the front of the pack. To our delight, he surged forward, moving from third to second place, then easing into first! We cheered more loudly. He was going to win! Or was he? Number 5 was creeping up on him, and now 4 was looking strong, too. How we scorned those other dogs!

“Come on Number 3!”

But then disaster struck. 5 passed 3! Then 4 passed them both! 3 made a valiant effort, butit was not use. As the race drew to a close, it was obviously going to be beetween 4 and 5.  As they crossed the line,  number 5 was the clear winner, 4 second, and our Number 3 had dropped back to 6th place.

So, our money was lost and our spirits were low.

Fortunately, hot dogs were cheap at the races. So we forgot our sorrows over a satisfyingly greassy meal and a polystyrene beaker of refreshing tea.

As I thought about the race afterwards, I noticed something. All the time we were not betting on the dogs, we didn’t really care which one came first. But as soon as we had invested in one of them, we immediately found that we cared about it. We wanted it to do well.

Interestingly, it turns out that all investment is like that. Whenever we invest in something – whatever it is, whatever we invest – we become emotionally bound to that thing. We care about it. We cheer it on. It is not that we have any choice in the matter, either. We are just wired up that way.

I guess this is what the Bible means when it says, “Your heart will always be where your treasure is.”

My little group of disciples, don’t be afraid! Your Father wants to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give the money to the poor. Make yourselves moneybags that never wear out. Make sure your treasure is safe in heaven, where thieves cannot steal it and moths cannot destroy it. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

Luke 12:32-34.


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