As I was reading from Proverbs today, it dawned on me just how similar money is to time:
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Proverbs 23:4-5, ESV
This reminded me one of my favorite sections of St. Augustine’s Confessions, where he discusses the nature of time:
[…] What then, is time? Provided that no one asks me, I know. If I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know. But I confidently affirm to myself that if nothing passes away, there is no past time, and if nothing arrives, there is no future time, and if nothing existed, there would be no present time. Take the two tenses, past and future. How can they ‘be’ when the past is not now present and the future is not now present? Yet if the present were always present, it would not pass into the past: it would not be time but eternity. If, then, in order to be time at all, the present is so made that it passes into the past, how can we say that this present also ‘is’? The cause of its being is that it will cease to be. So indeed we cannot truly say that time exists except in the sense that it tends towards non-existence.
Confessions, xi (16), p. 230-231
Like time, money — once grasped — tends towards non-existence.