On December 20, 2010, five days before Christmas, my annual salary in the entertainment industry was $101,000.00, as well as having a company provided vehicle. I had earned multiple weeks of vacation over fourteen years of service and 3.5 weeks was still left not yet taken. On December 21, 2010, four days before Christmas, I had $0.00 as a salary, no severance package, no vacation pay, I had a letter of termination and one box of odds and ends from my office. It wasn’t personal. The owners were and remain friends of mine. It was just math.
Nonetheless, God had a plan through all of this.
Jump forward to December 8, 2011, I was still unemployed, but with multiple opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God through serving others.
With all that in mind, I have used these now twelve months to explore my next adventure in life. Part of that exploration has been to identify hurting people and see if I might help in some small way. As part of this process a book was given to me, The Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, a christian humanitarian organization. The phrase “life changing” is so overused. However, this book has given me a fresh perspective on influence, affluence and benevolence.
The author challenges the reader to go to globalrichlist.com and calculate how rich we each are compared to world economic standards comparing each of us to the approximately 6.7 billion people currently residing on the planet at that time. The planet has now exceeded 7.0 billion people. As I entered $101,000.00 and hit calculate it was then that I found out that back on December 20, 2010, I was the 39,226,764th richest person in the world. Not bad based on 6.7 billion people.
However, on December 21, 2010, I plunged to the bottom of the global chart, except that I still had wealth beyond comparison in automobiles, furniture, adequate housing, food, and the essentials that a globally rich person needs to be sustained.
And above all, I had my hope in Christ.
God has put within each of us an unattainable calling, dream, vision or idea that outside of God we can not accomplish unless we give ourselves to serve Him by serving others.
Both the rich and the poor have needs that only God can meet. Neither wealth nor poverty makes one holy, as it is purity of heart that draws men and women to serve as Christ served.
Proverbs 22:2 says, “The rich and the poor have a common bond, the Lord is the maker of them all.”
There is no global scale of wealth in the Kingdom of God. There is however hope for all, and that hope is for all who will receive it. It costs the same to both rich and poor…your life.
Until we give our lives fully to God we will find ourselves unsettled as Augustine did when he wrote, in Book One of Confessions, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”
Therein lies my hope. Therein lies my rest.