when you go to the zoo with the kids and opt to pay double the price of admission to get in because if you pay this much, you've been told that you can come back to the zoo whenever you want in the next year and you think that you will come here often, but really you don't know for sure but the idea is worthy of the extra cost, you tell yourself.
when you walk through the gate that says "Members" and step into the zoo with confidence that this is the best place ever..."so beautiful, so lovely, what a friendly, warm place", you think to yourself. "even the trees are more beautiful here than elsewhere in the city."
when you walk through the zoo with light blissful steps and you see the sign that rings true:
and it's like the sign is only for you: it really is your zoo. you paid double the entrance fee (voluntarily!) to come on this autumn day and gawk at beautiful and entertaining living things and you find pride in ownership of this quaint space because you bought into this today without any regrets. even if the walking paths were more dingy, unkempt, you wouldn't notice, wouldn't care. it's your zoo.
and you know the old adage is true, that your heart follows your pocketbook. because membership is costly and also it changes your focus.
and while the kids watch the primates you think on that long and hard and remind yourself of what is important: spend your money where it matters. be a member of the zoo and watch your kids gain understanding about this big earth. buy paint and brushes and encourage the kids (and yourself) to think creatively. give your time and tithe and offering to the church you believe God is at work in. and mostly, buy wisdom. with all your choices, in all the passing moments, search for wisdom and buy it.