It was a typical Sunday morning for our little family of four. Harried parents worried about some “essential” item forgotten; maybe a sippy cup or a tiny pink Bible, as we shooed our girls into the church entrance.
More than that, it was a typical month for our single income family. Some unexpected repair or bill had come up that had my husband and I both anxious about our financial situation. The decision for me to stay home and raise our children had been so easy to make. But often difficult to live with.
As we entered the foyer we were warmly greeted by one of our ministers, and one of my favorite human beings, Brother Billy. He held out his arms and Pickle Pants immediately broke into a run to be scooped up into his arms. As she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, he smiled at us with a twinkle in his blue eyes and said, “You’re millionaires. You know that, don’t you?”
It took me a moment to fully absorb his statement, one that came from the wisdom of raising children of his own. From the experience of many tight months over the years. From the understanding that the most valuable things in this life are impossible to buy.
Money cannot buy a loving family, healthy children or contentment. Neither can all the money in the world buy you an eternal home with God at the end of this life.
But it’s so hard. Surely I would be happier if our income were larger, right? Wrong. Consider Solomon. For the longest time I’ve struggled with why God chose to give him possessions, wealth, honor and longevity on top of the wisdom he requested. Was it not those extra blessings that pulled his heart away from God?
I think He was trying to give us an example; proof that in the end, money does not matter. Solomon had it all. More than anyone before him and more than anyone ever will. He indulged in all the worldliness there was to be had, but at the end of his life he looked back and realized “all was vanity and a striving after wind.” What a powerful metaphor – striving after wind. It seems so foolish, yet we all do it. Just a little more, just a little more than that; always reaching, never content.
If we are baptized faithful followers of Christ we are more than millionaires. If we have the hope of salvation, we can have peace that transcends the successes and failures of this life.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)