How I Learned the Path to True Wealth Comes from Closeness with God

How much is enough? You will be asked this question at some point in your life. Most likely the person asking the question will be you. In my forty year career, I have discussed this question with many business people. Money is always the measurement.

If they are getting started, then enough is usually $1 million. If they have a million, the answer is $5 million. Achieve $5 and it’s $10, then $20, and so on. You get the picture. There is never enough.

In fact, I have never answered this question to my satisfaction. It remained a point of confusion and frustration. The problem is this. Implicit to defining enough seems to be to stop working, and I don’t want to do this. I am built for work, and I love it. My work defines me and is fulfilling.

Answer from Uganda

Pastor Elijah and I were having breakfast. I was talking about the wealth of America. Bragging on what a rich and generous nation we are.

He said, “My prayer for America is not more resources. My prayer for America is more God.”

That simple statement stopped me dead. This is truth. Enough should be defined by relationships and not money. Starting with God.

Relationship Rather Than Money

I just spent ten days with a man, his family and his staff who have God at the center of their lives and life purpose. They work and work hard. They want a better life, but they trust God for the better life.

Kathy and I observed them. They are woefully short of money and have no long-term security. Yet they are at peace. They are content. They have no anxiousness because they have God. As I said, they work but trust God as their security for today and tomorrow. He is their Father.

Pastor Elijah said that told God told him, “With me you have everything. Without me you have nothing.”

He demonstrates this revelation with a deep prayer life. Elijah stays close to his Father all day long. This closeness spills over into the rest of his life.

Disagreement to Prayer

On our last night in Uganda, Kathy and I were invited to Pastor Elijah’s home for dinner. We were surrounded by his wife and most of his children. His second oldest is in medical school.

You could feel the love and respect in that family. The conversation was like any healthy dinner talk, broad and interesting. From politics to the economy to what’s happening in the children’s lives.

At one point, he and Ruth had a bit of a disagreement on leadership. He looked at me and saw an expression of concern. He said, “This happens all the time. It always ends in prayer.”

Overflow to Friends

I had a 10 pm board call with one of my companies, so we had to call it an evening. I was ready to express my gratitude to them for opening their home and family to us. But before I could do it, the whole family started singing praise songs to God. They sang, “I surrender all.” It was so beautiful and rich. The house was filled with the Spirit of God.

Then Pastor Elijah had us join hands in prayer. He asked his wife to pray thanks for our visit, our safe return home, and our family. He then asked Kathy to close us in prayer.

We hugged, took a group photo, and headed back to the hotel.

On the ride back, Kathy and I were both struck by the overwhelming sense of peace we were experiencing. She said, “I think we just tasted a bit of what it will be like in heaven.”

I agreed.

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