Their assertion was that there was so much graft in the form of bribes, kickbacks, and the like that just about every single national and local government project designed for improvements in the quality of everyday life for citizens was plagued by bureaucratic delays involving construction permits, fiscal allocations, cost overruns, scheduling, etc…
To combat this, and to “smoke out” the large amounts of cash that have apparently been skimmed off and hidden away by corrupt officials, the national government has declared that later this year, all existing Kenyan currency will be supplanted by new Kenyan currency. Citizens have until a certain date to trade in their old Kenyan schillings for new ones. Thereafter, the old currency will not be worth the proverbial paper on which it is printed.
Of course, the banks and the government are keeping meticulous records of all of these transactions. The point is to force those with large cash holdings to reveal who they are. And also perhaps to punish anyone who amassed such fortunes through ill-gotten gains by having their unredeemed old currency suddenly lose all of its value!
Thus, while the old schillings still retain value for as time, it goes without saying that most Kenyans with whom I interacted on the streets and in marketplaces preferred to do their business with new schillings. They well understood that what had once held value soon no longer would! And they were adjusting their business and their lives accordingly!
As I have reflected on this, I cannot help but see a parallel to what the Bible tells us about the difference between having treasure in this world and having treasure in the world to come. The point is that the treasure of this world is even now passing away. One day, it will disappear altogether. When it does, it will be supplanted by another type of treasure altogether.
Jesus Christ puts it this way in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew (chapter 7, verses 19-21):
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The older I get, the more I appreciate the significance of what Jesus is telling us here. While my wife and I have tried to practice financial prudence and prepare for whatever eventuality tomorrow may hold, we have done so in full realization that whatever future we have here in this world is fleeting in comparison to our eternal future.
Given that our eternal life has been made possible not by anything we have earned but by the grace of Almighty God, I leave you with this famous quote by famed Christian martyr, Jim Elliott who once said: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose!”