“There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it’s only money.” ~ Alan Watts
I remember the first time my parents gave me an allowance. Wow. I was rich! To think that I had that much money coming to me on a regular basis? I could not fathom how far such riches could take me. I soon found out. The riches took me down the street to the local candy store. And then, I was poor again.
My allowance, though it was a nice thing and I am thankful to my parents for the opportunity to have some disposable income, began my journey of looking for money. I couldn’t wait for my first job. To be able to make some real money was tantalizing. But, with the job came more responsibilities and more financial need to keep things up such as my mode of transportation. The more I earned, the more was spent on necessary expenses.
Much later, after my ordination, I began to be in the position of receiving money from people. That was a different experience entirely. My expenses were being kept in check by my salary. The more money I got, the more I began to wonder, “What the heck am I going to do with this?” So, I began to do what my father always did, give it away. I’d like to think that I’m a fairly generous person. But, the more I give away, the more I seem to find. (Coincidentally, that is the exact mantra of Stewardship.)
I, like anyone else, like to buy things for myself. I, like anyone else, like to go on vacation. I like anyone else, want to think that I will be financially stable if/when I get a chance to retire. But I have also come to know the distinct joy of blessing others with what has been given to me. My heart warms at the thought that I am able to help someone in need either directly or in such a manner that they do not even know that it was me who helped them.
Because, you know what? Money is only money. It is something that is printed on paper and utilized to purchase things and pay bills. But wealth? That’s not always tangible. Wealth is not just what is printed on paper. Wealth is more often printed on the heart and in the soul.
FAITH ACTION: Do not be afraid to help others in need. Be generous and do not look for any kind of return.