Solomon tells us to cast our bread upon the water. He is not stating that we should literally go throw bread out at the lake, but rather this is probably a shipping term. In Solomon’s day comerce would take grain and goods from one country to anther via the shipping lanes (on the water). Yet, they didn’t have weather tracking systems and sometimes ships would go to sea never to be heard from again. But, often ships would make it to port. Sell the grain and goods and bring home a hefty profit. Solomon says it is better to go ahead and invest in many places than place all your eggs in one basket (so to speak). You don’t know where the hurricane will strike, the oil leak will emerge, or the demand for 8-tracks will hit rock bottom. However, one thing is sure. If you stare at the sky and try to calculate the weather and never invest, you won’t receive a profit (11:4). Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. So invest in lots of places and spread out the risk.
I think the application here is for more than how you are going to manage your retirement portfolio. Sometimes we can be paralised by the obstacles ahead of us. Your sitting there staring at the sky looking for the right conditions. You don’t know the future. The only way to live life is to take some calculated risk. Things will not always work out according to your plan. Better to attempt something great rather than use the excuse that you were just waiting for the right moment and it never came.
Make investments where it really counts. Be generous in your relationships. Give to others. Be a good friend, a good spouse, a good parent, open your home to others, show grace, forgive, look for opportunities to share Jesus. Don’t be disappointed if you are not immediately met with success in these areas of your life. Cast your bread on the water. Live soberly knowing that one day we will all give an account to God (Ecclesiastes11:9).