A blaring car horn jolted Jay back to reality. He blinked to refocus on the road ahead, and straightened the wheel. He wasn’t sure how long he had been in a daze, but it was long enough to drift over into the next lane. He was usually more alert during the drive home, but not today.
Today, his mind was on life and not on driving.
As a young boy, financial success had been Jay’s dream. He believed money would solve most of life’s problems, especially the ones he endured growing up. His parents struggled to keep food on the table, and there were some cold nights occasionally if the power bill was late. Jay swore that when he got out on his own, he’d never be broke again.
Now, he appeared to be doing well. After several years of working in the dry-cleaning industry as a delivery man, he started his own chain. The first two stores did so well he opened three more within a few years and had plans to expand into neighboring towns. Jay had built the empire he dreamed of - all before his fiftieth birthday.
But deep pockets couldn’t fix everything. Many nights, Jay lost sleep thinking about the mistakes he had made. Two divorces fueled his doubts about marriage, so he spent a lot of time alone. He was estranged from one of his kids and only spoke to the other one on special occasions.
The stress had been hard on his health, too. Over the last year, he had been diagnosed with diabetes and put on blood pressure medicine. He had tried dieting at the first of the year, but lost steam after a few weeks. Every day, it seemed he had less muscle and more flab, and wrinkles lined his face. The few drinks he had every night to calm his nerves didn’t help much.
Turning his attention back to the road, Jay looked in the rear-view mirror before changing lanes. That’s when he caught a glimpse of the weariness in eyes. “Is this as good as it gets?”, he asked himself.
The drive home was getting longer.
Motivated by the financial struggles of his youth, Jay ventures out into the world to strike it rich. And he does. But as we ride along with Jay, we learn that his wealth can’t shield him from the anxiety that haunts him in solitude.
According to a 2017 survey by Charles Schwab, Americans believe that for a person to be considered wealthy, they need a net worth of $2.4 million. But another study by the Spectrem Group shows that less than 10% of the nation’s households are worth more than $1 million dollars.
Based on those findings, it’s safe to say most of us aren’t rich.
Of course, your bank account isn’t the only way to gauge wealth. For you, being rich could mean having good health, a loving family, and friends you can count on.
But then there are those like Samuel L. Jackson, who once said, “Anyone who tells you money can't buy happiness never had any.”
Some Christians believe that money is the root of all evil. But what does the Bible have to say about it?