Proverbs chapter 8, verse 8 says, “Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?” Why does she raise her voice? For what reason does she cry out to those passing by? In the same chapter, verse 10, she exhorts her hearers to “take [her] instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold.” From that I gather that the very personification of wisdom is trying to get us to understand that the direction and education gained from wisdom is more valuable than silver and gold—even “choicest” gold. At today’s gold price which exceeds $1,200 per ounce, that’s some valuable information.
As a real estate investor I have various residential rental properties which must occasionally be cleaned upon a tenant permanently vacating the premises. Several years ago, I had to evict a tenant for failure to pay her rent two months in a row. After she vacated the property, I walked through inspecting the spacious two-bedroom apartment, which comprises one half of a two-story duplex with attractive hard-wood floors and ample ten foot ceilings. I was amazed to observe various piles of pennies and other small coins, mostly dimes and nickels absently left-behind. I found the coins here and there, left underneath as well as on top of furniture which the tenant also left behind.
Having allotted plenty of time for the delinquent tenant to remove her furniture before my inspection I was amazed that she’d elected to abandon as much of it as she did. I made rough mental calculations of the cumulative value of the furniture which appeared to be in serviceable condition. Based on my estimation, she could have made her delinquent rent payments if she had been able to sell the furniture she failed to remove from my building.
Turning my attention back to the coins I encountered, I thankfully gathered and put them in my pocket declaring, “These funds, although small, when joined with other funds will surely help me make my next mortgage payment!” As I inspected from room to room and my count of the value of the left-behind pennies and other coins exceeded two dollars I came to the following realization:
“If you do not value the small things—even the pennies—you will likely not see the value in the larger assets at your disposal.”