The point I attempt to make in this post is this: Wellbeing, peace, joy, wholeness, love, and gratitude, are only connected to mortality (money, career, material possessions, education, any type of status other than Child of God, friends, family situations, etc.) as we allow them to be, and until we recognize their true, immortal source, and attach them there. The immortal source of our wellbeing is God, our father, and through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to overcome mortality. Knowing and trusting the immortal source of our ever-enduring worth while in mortality can be a Heaven on Earth.
The Source of Life’s Savor.
I currently have $47 in my checking account and zero in my savings account. By the end of this week I will have less in my checking account. I have just under $20,000 of debt, and I work as a merchant application underwriter. I am 35 years old, and will be 36 in two months.
As I drove home from work tonight (9-8-15), the gas light came on in my car. I stopped at the gas station to do as I have done over the past few months, to put $20 worth of gas in my car, making sure I didn’t spend it all in one place. As long as my car has gas, I can keep going to work. I bought some groceries yesterday, $33 worth at Wal-Mart. I came home, and with the groceries I made some homemade guacamole, and baked an ear of corn to make Elote. As I was cutting the green onions for the guacamole, I felt somewhat as I imagine the widow of Zarepath felt, but on a lesser degree. If you remember, she gathered sticks to make a meal with the last of her oil and flour, for her and her son to eat, then die. I know that that meal will not be my last (I hope not anyway), but I felt like I was using part of the last that I had, as there is not money for more until next week. We recall that the prophet Elijah asked her to make a cake for him first, then for her son and herself. If she did this, the jar of flour would not fail, neither would the jug of oil run dry until the Lord sends rain again upon the land. Again, as I continued to cut the green onions, I began to feel a gratitude that was not familiar, a gratitude for the fact that this meal was going to be just as delicious as it had always been. Gratitude that even though I had used some of the last of my current resources to purchase the ingredients, and that my financial situation is what it is right now, the goodness and the savor of this meal would not be diminished.
Over the course of my life when financial resources have been limited, I would allow that circumstance to affect all areas of my life in a negative way; I would allow it to “change the savor” of my life, and life wasn’t as good. I would worry, worry, worry; I would feel physically ill. These rough financial situations would disturb my spiritual, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing, as well as physically as I have mentioned. I would decrease my social interaction because my mind was completely occupied with the stress of the situation, and I wasn’t myself. I felt like I was less; less than I should be, less than I had previously been, less than others (and I) expected. I felt like a failure, and unworthy to be around people. My entire wellbeing was dependent on having money, and when the money I had went below what I thought was acceptable for myself, my wellbeing went down with it. My wellbeing was attached, and dependent on the amount of money I had. It doesn’t help that I have been so determined to change my financial situation, that I have made several decisions to invest in this opportunity, and that opportunity; which only perpetuated more of the same. That is another story. Over the course of the past 2 ½ years I have changed my source of wellbeing, and it was significantly noticeable tonight. As I continued to prepare dinner, and continued consciously be grateful for it, I recognized also that felt peaceful; I wasn’t stressed, nor was my worth was tied to my financial situation. I was whole; I was loved; my worth had not lessened; and life still tasted good. I knew that God loved me just the same, and that I loved me just the same. Two years ago when I started taking these steps to improve, I knew that there would be sacrifices and difficult times. What I have learned, and specifically recognized tonight, is that what I am sacrificing are all of the negatives I experienced previously: the fear, the stress, the attachment of my wellbeing on every level to my finances; I am separate from my finances. Money is an object, has no feelings, nor is not alive. It cannot determine, nor control, nor have any say in my wellbeing unless I give it that power. I no longer give it that power; it has been given to God, as has my fear, and the attachment of my wellbeing to my financial situation. In place of what I have “sacrificed”, God has offered peace, love, wholeness; and I trust that the jug of oil will last, and the jar of flour, remain.
I am whole, independent of anything, through the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ, and my offering up to Him of fear…that is all it was, fear. It is replaced with love, trust, and confidence in Him. He provides the way each and every day despite my imperfections; His ways are higher than mine, and I am so glad for that. It is beautiful and comforting at the same time that I am never left alone. He provides the way patiently as I learn, and as I stumble at times; even through the stumbling there is a way, there is always a way. I don’t have to go alone, for He is always with me, showing the way with a loving, strong arm which is ever reaching out to me. He is the way to lasting peace. He knows me, and I am learning who He is to me as we develop a personal relationship. I love Him, and I am grateful for the peace He offers in place of sacrificed fear. He lives; He must; He has to! In His name, Amen.