You are filthy, stinkin’ rich!
Perhaps your pockets don’t contain cash, but if you look at your life, you’ll find assets of another variety.
Earlier this year, my husband and I took a trip to India. Currently, India is known for its high population of people in poverty, and yes, we saw that to be true. But as we saw the sights and heard the history, I learned this lesson that I brought home to share.
Wealth is not limited to the wallet.
Our tour guide showed us famous sites of India’s historic opulence. Palaces, Forts, Temples and Tombs hold evidence of a land that was abundant with gemstones. The Indian natives have been using these pretty rocks for centuries…and at one time…was considered the wealthiest country on earth because of them.
They are rich in rocks.
Taste their food and you will also find they are rich in spices. (Oh yeah!)
Do you remember that the gifts given to baby Jesus were shiny rocks and medicinal plant extracts? Matthew 2:11 says, “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold frankincense and myrrh.”
My point is not that the wise men, mentioned in the Bible, were from India…but that the treasures they carried then, were not so different than what India still has in its treasury.
The interesting thing is, India continues to mine these stones, inlaying marble and carving artistically, but the perception of the value has declined. War, political upheaval and pilfering tore down not only the physical structures that held so much pride, but the heart of the people. A populace once thriving has become famous for its need.
What keeps a people down? Is it lack of resource or lack of hope? If there are still rocks in the ground and more labor than ever…why not rebuild?
I know it’s not that simple. And it is not my intent to beat on the beaten-down. I extend compassion to the broken-hearted, as the discouraged have little energy for getting up again.
May I suggest, that our greatest resource, our hidden resource, is what God values.
And what is that?
Heart. Love. Devotion.
I’m sure Mary was grateful for the money and the incense, but the Lord yearns for our hearts. The worship was for Him. He’s been quite frank with His jealousy toward other loves.
Last week I featured a book called 8 Great Smarts by Kathy Koch, PhD. In this book, the author highlights the benefits of recognizing our different areas of “smarts” as individuals. The book shows that when we develop these uniquenesses, we grow more confidently in the person we have been created, by God, to be. (Here is a link to that post.)
In essence, we celebrate the fact that we are different by being grateful for our gifts in specific areas and intentionally work at being good at “our thing.”
How does “heart” and “smart” come together?
When we value what God values…when we appreciate what He made and how He made it to work, we become more aligned with Him. We love more like Him.
God made me to be slightly different than you. I love that about Him! I love that about me! I prefer to enjoy wacky things like dinosaur kale and kohlrabi! Maybe one day I will also come to love the hump on my nose and the moles on my face…ah…one day!
Each one of us has additional resources that are specific and special for our contribution to the world. These resources may be unrecognizable or hidden to you right now, but they exist. To excavate those resources, you might just need to do some digging into your heart.
Do you have time right now? How can you use your time and your heart today?
Do you have an abundance of zucchini? Why not offer them free or make zucchini bread for your neighbor?
Are you physically fit? Where can you work that muscle?
Are you handy? What needs fixing?
Becoming untethered from this world requires a step back and looking anew at what it is promoted as being “the only” valuable things. It also means you will need to look at how deeply you are in agreement with or in love with that valuation…perhaps at the expense of what God values.
Taking the time to assess the world’s systems as well as your personal priorities is not for the purpose of condemnation, but for liberation and affirmation!
Look for your hidden resources, beginning with the condition of your heart. To what are you devoted? What “gems” do you have an abundance of right now?
Isn’t there so much to be grateful for?!!!