Each dollar bill is a building blocks needed to create financial success and the foundation of wealth. But spiritual wealth is the source of happiness that inspires you to find your dreams and purpose in life. Ultimate wealth is found when you combine financial success with spiritual wealth.
The sun shot yellowish-orange light rays into our bedroom window as we woke up. A light dusting of November snow was melting off our roof, and dripping into the gutters outside our window. My wife whispered to me as we slowly woke up and she rolled over next to me, “Let’s do something fun today. I haven’t been feeling good about myself the last couple of weeks. Something isn’t normal.”
My head lifted off my pillow as I listened to her. It is hard hearing your wife say she’s not feeling normal. I am a natural helper and I jumped into fixing mode. I glanced outside as the world woke up with us. “Let’s go for a hike today. The weeds have died down on the trails behind out house, and the forest should be a good place to explore again.”
My wife sat up in bed, and responded with an enthusiastic. “Let’s go. ”
I was surprised hearing her excitement. It had snowed the night before and she used to hate hiking when it was cold, wet, and muddy outside. “You really want to go with me?”
As the sun rose, light streamed through our windows in brighter colors. Depending on the angle, the natural light made us look younger, or older, than we really are. My wife rubbed yesterday out of her eyes, “I understand why you love going outside now. We’ve only been married two years, but every time we do something outside together, I feel better when we return home. When you find things that give you a 100% positive return on your investment of energy, you’ve found a great investment to make and you’re a fool if you don’t do it more.”
I made 2 cups of strong coffee in the kitchen, and carried them back into the bedroom. The sun rose higher outside our windows. Our room felt so full of sunlight it was like we were sitting inside a candle. I sat on the edge of the bed next to my wife and sipped my coffee.
“Going outside gives you a 100% return on your investment, and it doesn’t cost you a thing?” I said, “It sounds like you’re finding the definition and meaning of spiritual wealth to me. ”
The was a new idea to me. The meaning of spiritual wealth ran giddily around my mind like it was a crazy toddler and I was trying to catch it and talk to it.
“When people talk about getting returns on their investments, they’re usually talking about money.” I said. “But I think you’re right, feelings are probably the most important assets we all have. They tell us how our life is going. If they’re feelings of wealth, we’ll feel wealthy. If they feel poor, we’ll also feel poor. People should probably be more aware of how their feelings are dictating their choices.”
We drank black coffee from the cups in larger gulps. Caffeine tingled awake new blood flows in my brain. The images around me increased in clarity, colors, and shape. “So, spiritual wealth is earned when we make choices that get us the best return on our feelings. That’s interesting to think about.” I said, “Money numbers can tell us something about the wealth we have in life, but they don’t measure the quality of our feelings. And it’s the quality of our feelings that measures out true value as people.”
I slammed the remaining sips of coffee in one swift, decisive gulp. I felt like I’d finally caught the little thought dancing in my mind, and the thought said it’s name was spiritual wealth. “Mastering your feelings is where spiritual wealth meaning begins.” I said to myself.
The coffee warmed my chest. I stood up. “Tell me more about these improved feelings when you go outside?” I asked my wife.
We dressed as we talked. My wife replied, “It just seems that the normal way of American life right now is to consume as much as you can in as short amount of time as possible. Eat, buy, and indulge in as huge of portions as you can. That’s become the modern way of thinking and definition of success. I used to think that path would make me feel good, but when you’re consuming all that junk, your spirit gets so out of shape. You start feeling fat. And feeling fat is one of the most depressing feelings in the world. When I get outside, exercise and explore, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I am leading my life, creating my time the way I want it, and on an adventure to the future I want.”
We put on jackets and hats and went outside.
“You make consumerism sound like a pretty unfulfilling path.” I said. “Even though it can look fun and fulfilling from the outside looking in at times.”
My wife replied, “It slowly sucks the life out of you, and you don’t even realize it’s happening until your fat and depressed. It leaves you addicted to always wanting to consume more, and there’s never enough. That’s why I’ve fallen in love with exploring the outdoor world with you. When we’re out here, we’re not consuming anything. We’re finding new experiences, and creating a better version of ourselves together. It’s the art of creating that makes you feel spiritually wealthy. And being spiritually wealthy is feeling smart, healthy, and happy.”
We walked onto a trail that goes around a hidden lake behind our house. The beginning of it goes through an old forest of oak trees. We could see further than we could all summer because the leaves had just fallen and the tree branches were bare.
My wife held my hand as we walked. “I am learning that when you work to create experiences, rather than be lazy and consume them, a journey to find yourself takes place. I’m learning that ‘s ultimately spiritual wealth’s meaning. Learn how to push yourself, achieve, and be happy with what you have in life, and you will find the trail to contentment and find your spiritual wealth.”
We walked faster. I could feel our bodies getting stronger, like two people who were being tuned up and re-calibrated by nature to notice the spiritual side of life.
We walked around the lake, talking. As we started to head home, I said, “There’s this misconception about the meaning and path to wealth in America. Society thinks the only way to become wealth is to either be incredibly lucky, or be blessed with an amazingly large salary. But they’re wrong. They’re missing out on all the wealth that is right in front of them every day. There’s another way to find wealth that’s not discussed as often.”
“What do you mean?” My wife asked.
I jumped over a small river, and waited for her to join me on the bank of dead grass. “Wealth can be achieved by anyone who seeks God, simplicity, purpose, and happiness. A relationship with God is free to anyone who seeks it, which means there’s a lot of money leftover to be saved, invested, and given away, because money is not the source of happiness. Spiritual wealth is.”
My wife asked, “I’ve told you why I like adventuring outside. Why do you like exploring the outdoors so much?”
I looked out at a bay. A swampy mixture of trees and dead cattails bordered the shore. The water would soon be frozen over, I thought.
“I feel alive when my spirit is allowed to explore and find the answers it seeks. That’s what I’m always trying to do and find: What more can I do to make my spirit feel at its best? When I ask myself this question, I often find that very rarely do my best feelings come from spending money. Spiritual wealth is free, and it inspires the most happiness in me.”
We walked home, and I thought a little more on the idea that night. As I spoke with the idea of spiritual wealth in my mind, I learned that these are the steps one must take to become spiritually wealthy:
1) Start a relationship with God by talking to him.
2) Don’t waste resources, time, or opportunities. Life efficiently.
3) Be curious. Explore your mind, thoughts, and the world to find what’s true.
4) Avoid all black holes of consumerism.
5) Create and work at your story with the time and resources you have.
6) Save, invest, and share the resources you don’t need to become fully wealthy.
Wealth = Efficiency + Simplicity + Purpose + Resources + God.
In conclusion, this is the path to find spiritual wealth. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jerimiah 29:13
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