I’m normally not in habit of eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, but I overheard the most interesting thing the other day at Starbucks. Right when I pulled out my headphones I heard this older man tell his friends, “If more people talked about what makes their lives rich, the pursuit of stuff might seem less appealing.” Each one of his buddies agreed, “When you put it that way, I’m mega loaded then…” “Me too…” Me three…” “Me four…”
That’s when I thought of Paul – a man raised with opportunity, wealth, education and privilege, but when confronted with the gospel, quickly counted everything else as meaningless in comparison.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” –Philippians 4:12-13
Because contentment is priceless.
Contentment is key.
Contentment is richness.
It’s the ability to see, embrace, marvel and bask in all that makes your life rich… even when you feel you’re lacking… because there is always something to feel rich about.
Or as Kent Keith puts it:
“What makes a life “rich” is being close to loved ones, having exciting work, and fulfilling one’s personal commitments. A rich life is about your daughter’s basketball game, viewing a sunset with your spouse, giving your best to a job that is part of an important mission, and pursuing a hobby that stimulates creativity. What makes life rich is doing good, succeeding, thinking big, fighting for the underdog, building, and giving the world your best.”
Now here’s the coolest part of the story.
I was in the middle of reading the above paragraph when I overhead the men and their interesting conversation. And since the tug in my heart wouldn’t go away, I quietly leaned over and asked, “Can I read you guys something really cool that aligns with what you’re talking about?”
After I finished reading, everyone looked at each other smiling, then at me, then the guy who originally initiated the insightful comment piped up: I am rich because I have a great wife who puts up with my crap.
Then the next guy: I am rich because I have health.
Then the next: I am rich because my kids genuinely like being around me.
Then the next: I am richer because of this conversation.
Then they looked at me. Gulp. It was my turn. So I decided to be bold… and brave… and risk looking foolish… but I did it because the thumping in my heart was beating out of control.
Guys, I have to admit, I am truly rich because of my faith in Jesus.
Friends, what makes you rich?