When Man of the House and I were married, like most newlyweds we didn't have much money. I was teaching part-time and he was still in school and working part-time. We rented a rather ramshackle trailer and decorated it in typical early newlywed style with mismatched hand-me-down furniture and dorm room leftovers. It was necessarily cheap, though, but we worked to make it as comfortable as we could. Sometimes I would be envious of the gorgeous houses with impeccable lawns I would see as I drove around our midwestern town. It was a prosperous and growing university town with acres and acres of newly constructed houses. But it occurred to me one day that I was just as warm and dry in my small, slightly dilapidated trailer as they were in their big, fancy houses. The roof of my trailer kept the rain out just as well as the roof of the gorgeous Georgian home I coveted in a neighborhood several times removed from mine. Were those people any better off if any real way? I didn't think so. In fact, I was discovering that many of those families in those neighborhoods were not as happy as Man of the House and I were. I wouldn't have traded places with them.
I was reminded of that first year a few nights ago when I was washing dishes. Out my kitchen window I could see the luminous half-moon suspended above the trees with a few wispy clouds sailing across it in a royal blue sky. It was truly beautiful! I thought to myself that it wouldn't be any more beautiful if I were gazing at it from the balcony of a mansion or any less beautiful if seen from the flap of a tent. Those kinds of riches are priced the same for everyone: taking time to enjoy the beauty that no one can buy.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5).