God talks to me and God talks to you, each and every day. The question is, do we take the time to ask the questions, to listen….and more importantly to BELIEVE?
Asking the Question
Yesterday I had the fantastic opportunity to spend a short amount of time with an old and dear friend. He is a man that is busy beyond busy, so sixty minutes looking at houses with him was a gift beyond measure. This is a friend who has known me for nearly twenty years and who has watched me learn, grow and change and has seen me in my personal life, in the corporate world and in ministry. He is also a man who has been blessed with fantastic financial abundance and since financial success has been elusive to me, I decided to pick his brain. After he expounded on my “amazing gifts,” his final assessment of my financial “struggles” was, “Lauri, I think you might be chicken.” I’m still chewing on that one because as much as I want to argue with him, there is a grain of truth in this…..I just don’t know yet what that grain is. His observations have given me pause to ponder financial success and my history of lack in this area. So, I decided to turn to God with this question. “God, why has financial success continually eluded me?” I was surprised to hear God’s immediate answer:
Through words and images, God showed me that I have always been given “enough” financial abundance to meet my needs and that anything beyond that would have prevented me from pursuing anything more than the American ideal of climbing the corporate ladder and a big paycheck. If I had been blessed with enormous financial resources, there would have been no motivation to search beyond the American dream and I would never have taken the time or the risk to pursue my spiritual studies and ministerial path. And, with nothing more than just what I needed to live, I had nothing to lose by pursuing a spiritual calling. The “lack” of financial resources, God showed me, has been an enormous gift that has left me free to pursue my dreams and the passions of my heart. God then went on to one-up the financial message and showed me all the challenges, struggles and losses of my life and revealed to me how all of these perceived difficulties served a higher purpose of leading me to my gifts, my passion and my calling. Who knew?
So, here is the weird thing. Now, instead of feeling frustrated, angry, impatient and mournful over all the challenges in my life, including the lack of financial “success”, I now feel grateful. After God showed me the higher purpose behind all that I had previously judged as “lack”, I can now see the gift and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all that God has shown me.
For the Record
Now, before I appear as some sort of benevolent, financially humble ascetic, the other words of my dear friend also haunt me, “And, maybe you don’t dream big enough.” So, on that order…..I do dream about breaking through the ceiling of mere sustainance and here, for the record, are my financial dreams:
- I dream that my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy will be a best seller and sell 1 million copies in the first year!
- I dream of the financial resources to buy a comfortable and beautiful home for myself and my children, to provide for the education of my children and to establish a permanent endowment for the long-term care of “Lake Lumby” in Northern Minnesota.
- I dream of the financial resources to build a year-round dwelling at Lake Lumby for all the Lumby progeny.
- I dream of a successful career as a Spiritual Director and writer.
- I dream of the future publication of the rest of my spiritual curriculum, novels and poetry that I am working on and continue to work on.
So, those are my dreams and if they are not big enough, I can certainly make them bigger……knowing that all will manifest as God determines “in the highest good.” And this I will trust.
Where are you taking time to speak to and listen for God?
Do you believe God when God speaks to you?
How might God’s perspective differ from yours?
Authentic Freedom Ministries