Last week I listened to a Forum at BYU given by Mark DeMoss, an Evangelical Christian who started the largest PR firm that deals with Christian organizations in the U.S.. He told the following stories:
A popular comedian hitting his prime at 22, fell off the grid and moved to Africa. When asked why, he said: Because I learned that the higher up I go, the less happy I am.
When asked if there was one thing he wished he would have known many years ago, a rich author replied: I wish I would have known that when you get to the top, there's nothing there.
I thought a lot about those statements, and how certainly I believe them, yet how quick I am to paint a dream life involving more money, a bigger home, more fabric and cooking supplies, nicer clothing.
Then I think about what we are heading into in the next 2-4 years. Complete poverty is what it feels like. Graduate school that doesn't allow my dear Watson to work, most likely a baby which means I choose not to work, at this point all our savings will have been spent on schooling, plus: student loans, medicaid, how will we afford a place to live? How will we afford groceries? It scares me and I wonder how in the world we'll be happy.
Apparently though, it might actually prove to be some of the truly happiest years of our lives. I used to fantasize about being married and having to scrimp and save and live off nothing but our love for each other. I always said I'd rather marry a poor man than a rich man for that purpose. Now that I live in the world of adulthood bombarded by bills, insurance, providing my own meals, clothing, shelter, you know, all that real world stuff, I find myself wishing I had all the money in the world.
I don't often want lavish things. I just want to feel like I can buy some fabric to make a gift, or buy some sprinkles to make an awesome cake, or to be able to buy the powdered sugar because I need it now, rather than wait until it goes on sale, or to be able to go grocery shopping when I run out of food, instead of after we've eaten ramen and canned soup for a week after we run out of food.
Right now we don't even really NEED to live this way, but I'm practicing and preparing for when we do. And guess what? It's hard now and we don't have the actual burden and stress of zero income or little income with a big family.
But, I guess
sacrifice brings blessings and happiness. Sacrifice means giving up sprinkles and fabric. It means buying used, it means wearing out. And, it means being happy -- it really does.
Mark DeMoss also spoke about how there's no such thing as a self-made man. If you have ever seen a turtle on a fence post, he explained, you know that turtle didn't get there on its own. Someone or someone(s) placed him there. That's the same with all of us. No matter where we are in life, someone and most likely someone(s) helped us get there.
No matter where our lives are headed, no matter how little we have now, 3 years from now, 6 years from now, 10 years from now; we have each other, and our families, and we have God. There are many good things to come.