When I was young, I remember a song with the lyrics…
“I want money, lots and lots of money
I want a pie in the sky
I want money, lots and lot of money
So don’t be asking me why
I wanna be rich…” (Calloway 1989)
I have spent the past 48 hours feeling like a rock star. Essence Festival is in New Orleans, and we received prime floor seats and unlimited food and drinks from a close friend. We spent Saturday afternoon on the river diving off the dock, throwing each other off the dock, and boat riding. Living life. Loving life.
My husband made a statement this morning that made me pause for a moment. Out of nowhere he states, “I want to be rich.”
I smiled to myself, remembering feeling the same way in the not so recent past. I asked him, “why?”
He responded “So I can give you all the things you received this weekend – front row seats at a major concert, VIP access to any area in the Superdome, and a house on a lake for you.”
I smiled and said, “Then ask God for that.”
End of conversation.
But as I spent my day scrapbooking and allowing my mind to roam, I thought back to myself and how much time I spent praying for money.
Only recently have I begun to ask for what I really want – well-rounded, balanced children, being able to go on vacations and not feel like I have to pinch pennies the entire time, shopping sprees, a car that does not break down all the time, a house in a neighborhood with nosey neighbors, getting paid to do what I would do for free, an amazing marriage…an ordinarily extraordinary life.
And I think of all the people, many whom I admire, who spend their lives hustling to make money. They grind to be rich so that they can create the lives they believe will come with money.
What if we have it all backwards, though? What if this me-centered society – the hustle, sleep, repeat mentality – is incorrect? What if rich has nothing to do with either money or material possessions?
I am a prayerer. (I just made up that word.) And I recognize that we are not all prayerers, but all of us have hopes and dreams that we either consciously or subconsciously speak into the universe.
A little under a year ago, I began my version of minimalistic life. I began to downsize from all the things I thought that money could buy and ask instead for what I really want. The results have proven no less than absolutely inexplicable.
The few evenings that I actually spend out on the town, I feel like Cinderella. The compliments are overwhelming almost to the point of tears. I live the rockstar life on a teacher’s budget with borrowed prom dresses and end of season sales on pieces I hope will still be in style when I can actually wear them.
My car was totaled at a red light less than a mile from my home, and I receive a newer model upgraded car at no cost in its place.
My home is a place of peace, joy and happiness. In fact, as much as I enjoy nights as Cinderalla, I much prefer quiet evenings at home with hugs and kisses and a five year old whose biggest complaint is that his pictures in the scrapbook do not have hearts on them like his sister’s pictures do. No problem – I have plenty of love to share.
So I leave you with the a few simple thoughts:
1. Ask for luxuries that money cannot buy. I have watched enough Real Housewives to know that vacations to the most beautiful of places do not necessarily create the most beautiful of memories. Ask for beautiful memories to accompany your beautiful experiences. Pray for what you really want, not the money to buy it. God can provide over and above anything you think you can purchase on your limited or unlimited budget.
2. Rich means more than “having a great deal of money or assets.” According to my favorite search engine, Google, that specific definition is only one of many. Rich also means “plentiful” and “abundant.” Thus, wanting to be rich is not a terrible idea. Choose a life rich in health, laughter, happiness, and love.