Pravin Gordhan's budget speech on Wednesday got me thinking that it could be useful for us to do a soul-budget occasionally. For one thing, I would hope that our soul-budget would not start with an admission that we are in a recessionary period...
Budgeting would include balancing our urge to launch new projects with the necessity of maintaining our existing spiritual infrastructure. We would need to decide how much time, energy and priority to allocate to our own and our family's education and development, spiritual health, policing against ethereal enemies and growing our soul's economy.
A bitter contention here in SA is that, exceptional as the budget may be, many ministries squander the monies allocated to them. Doesn't your blood boil when you hear of dysfunctional departments, headed by ministers who splurge on caviar, international holidays and flashy cars? Watching your tax money hard at waste may well infuriate you.
Almost as enraging are those ministers whose ineptitude has them investing millions in dead-end projects, while their mainstay programmes putrefy in the background. "Inexperience" is an excuse you would definitely not accept from someone who has taken on mantle of public office (and public funds).
Now, try plug that into your soul-budget exercise. G-d allocates our budget of time, resources and energy on a daily basis. He packs us full of wherewithal and then watches to see if we use it well. Each day is a gift of potential creativity and productivity that you should utilise to the maximum. Realistically, though, there are many days when we push the snooze button, while away hours over coffee or meander through the Internet instead of getting on with what G-d put us here to achieve. We blow the budget on fun and pleasure, instead of meaning and purpose.
Or maybe we just don't know how G-d wants us to spend our budget. We entertain novel ideas, take on exciting projects and throw ourselves into nouveau spiritual lifestyles. In our minds, we are soaring through heaven; in reality we are missing our purpose.
Pointing out all that’s wrong with government departments that we cannot change is considerably less valuable than examining our own Divinely-presented budget. Maybe budget time is time to think about what investment G-d has made in us and how important it is for us to determine our unique personal purpose- and then live up to it.