I have a thing about cowboys. Back when I was growing up Westerns ruled the television screen. I remember the Rifleman, Cheyenne, Marshall Dillon, the Virginian, all the Cartwright men, Maverick and Rawhide…and yes, the Marlboro Man. Those men appeared so masculine, so earthy, so strong, and so real. Years ago there was a mini-series Broken Trail about a cattle drive starring, what else, cowboys. One of its memorable lines was “Never use money to measure wealth.”
So, how does one measure wealth?
Is wealth the wonder of hearing your child’s heart beat while that child is inside you? I still remember back in 1987 lying pregnant on that clinic bed thinking how powerful I was to be carrying life – God’s greatest miracle.
Is wealth miraculously escaping the wrath of a natural disaster? Or is wealth enduring the wrath of a natural disaster?
Is wealth walking down the aisle with the love of your life beside you? Is wealth working through the trials of marriage? Is wealth becoming so familiar with your spouse you can end each other’s sentences?
Is wealth the ability to see the glorious autumn colors and smell the wood burning in the fireplace? Is wealth licking your licks after a yummy, festive holiday meal?
Is wealth the thrill of your team winning the big one? I recall a Sports Illustrated editorial that pegged Jesus reappearing as a left handed pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. He wouldn’t get very many wins, but He’d get a ton of saves. I’d have Him on my team.
Is wealth the loyalty of the dog that greets you at the door?
Is wealth the steadfastness of a dear friend to console you when needed?
All earthly wealth is temporary. Like John Ortberg’s book says when the game is over, it all goes back in the box. My heavenly home will feature riches beyond measure. My present pleasures will pale in comparison to the grandeur of my Heavenly Father’s palatial digs. And maybe, just maybe….. my God will be wearing a white Stetson.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. (NIV, Proverbs 23:4-5)
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11)