Today as we drove to drop our kids off to summer program, my son asked “Mom, why do people hold signs?” Not sure what he meant, I started looking around to see what exactly prompted him to ask that. Not seeing anyone or anything, I asked “What do you mean? What kind of sign did you see someone holding?” He said “Well, sometimes people hold food signs or help signs”. Oh. I get it. “Well, those people you see holding signs might be homeless and without a job so they are asking people to give them food or money to help them”. Noah “Oh”.
We begin another conversation about their summer program field trip to the movies and how much they will need to attend. I am explaining to my oldest daughter that I’d give them a bit more so they can buy some snacks. Noah says “Wow. We’re rich!”
Immediately my husband and I begin laughing. I say “No, Noah we aren’t rich. Daddy and I work hard to afford for you to do things like go to the movies. Noah says “But you have money in your wallet and we live in a house”. “Yes, we work. Noah, we aren’t rich…” Then I stop. I began thinking about the conversation that led up to the program field trip, I begin to understand why he thinks we are rich. He has no real definition of what “being rich” is but seeing as we just spoke about people who are homeless and without food, I begin to understand his point. So I say “Noah, It’s God who takes care of us and because of that, you’re right, we are rich.”
The kids get out of the car and we say our goodbyes. All I could think of is how convicted I felt. Noah’s definition of rich and mine have two different meanings, and honestly, his is correct. I take for granted the very thing that I tell my children to be grateful for. It’s not that we can’t dream or attain something better, it’s more about being content and finding value in the things that we have presently. I find myself being negative about renting vs owning a house, or just having one car, etc. The ability to give my children movie money and extra, is a blessing in itself! I can become so numb to the things we have because I can be so antsy in attaining something bigger, or better.
I sit here counting my many blessings–my husband, children, family, health, the place we rent and even the ants that come from time to time. I look at my view and think how incredible ungrateful I can be. Even in this conviction, I feel God’s presence and His forgiveness. I won’t stop dreaming and asking God for my desires, however, I won’t let those very things become such a distraction that I can’t see how blessed we are…How rich we are.
4 “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” proverbs 23:4-5