A dying business man on his death bed called for the family:
Is mommy here? – Sweetheart, I’m here.
Are all the children here?
Yes, they all are here. Where’s Danny – I’m here dad.
Where’s Stephen? – I’m here dad.
Where’s Connie? – I’m here dad.
The dying dad says: Now if all of you are here, then who’s taking care of my business?
Looks like the dying businessman is rich or is he?
I love this story. It’s entitled The Richest Man in the Valley.
A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by.
Hans said, ‘I was just thanking God for my food.’
Carl protested, ‘If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.’
Hans replied, ‘God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.’
The old farmer added, ‘It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.’
Carl snorted, ‘Dreams are nonsense,’ and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, ‘Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.’
Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream. At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door.
‘What is it?’ Carl demanded.
The messenger explained, ‘It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.’
So who is the truly wealthy person?
I guess the next question I have to ask you is this.
Are you truly wealthy?
The wealthy person is one who is rich in his relationship with Christ. This is why he could say with all of his heart that he lacks nothing.
Many people I know derive their personal worth from what they have.
Acquisitions. Possessions. A personal collection of expensive things that ordinary people cannot afford. They love stuffs. And they need to have them coming all the time. What they fail to understand is that there are now so many things in their closets that no longer make them happy. But the acquisition continues.
Many people derive their personal worth from what they do.
These are achievers. They just have to accomplish goals. Ask them why they have to do this and their answer is simple, “Because I just can’t stop at this point.”
And when the very thing they work on fails, they feel that they are complete failures. And so they have to go to the next project and this vicious cycle continues.
There are also people who derive their personal worth from what they know. They want to be scholars and experts in everything. They show off what they know and feel good when they know more than the average person does. They flaunt their knowledge and display arrogance because this is the way for them to feel important.
So what do we have here? People who are having, doing, knowing…but then deep inside they are not happy.
Happy and fulfilled people realize that they get their personal worth not from what they have, not from what they do but from what they are. It’s not having, it’s not doing, it’s not even the knowing but it’s the being.
They realize the importance on building their character and improving it day to day.
They love to have stuffs too, they love accomplishing things and they love to learn but they know that things, accomplishments and knowledge are mere vehicles on improving their character and personhood.
These people are deep because they have an intimate relationship with God.
They have a greater mission in life. And that is to share God’s love with others and to help others know God too.
They get their worth from Christ who has given them a new leash on life and can now see things in a deeper sense. Suddenly, all the having, the doing, the knowing pales in comparison with the loving and the understanding that God loves them and Christ has given His life for them.
This is true wealth, the missing link in the quest for fulfillment.
Take heed to what C.S. Lewis has to say: God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
So be rich but be at peace and be fulfilled too.