Ridiculously Rich

Every now and then it strikes me that I am ridiculously rich.


I have a family that loves me.  I have work that is meaningful and colleagues whom I enjoy.  I have good health, and am oddly enamored with walking, which allows me to realize that the world is a strange and wondrous place.  I find myself believing in a God who is merciful; neither deterministic nor indifferent. 


My life isn’t perfect, but I don’t expect perfection and am okay with blips in my life.  Sometimes I even laugh at them, which brings me to a comment I heard at a youth event last night where I spoke on behalf of my school.  “How are things going?” I asked one of the leaders, wondering how things had evolved throughout the weekend.  “Good.  In fact too good!” was her reply.  “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, things just can’t go this well; I’m afraid something is around the corner.”


I understand her anxiety.  In fact I share it.  When things are going well, I too get nervous.  After all, I reason, nobody deserves ridiculous riches, including yours truly!  Why do we think this way?  Are we dealing with deeply hidden, yet powerfully prevailing expectations of corrections?  Do we imagine our lives to be like the stock market; hoping for a certain incline in fortune, yet recognizing that market corrections are inevitable?  Are we suspicious of ridiculous riches, and happy to settle for solid yet certain gains?  Do we expect the worst; and derive a softer satisfaction from skirting disappointments?


Perhaps there is too much self-analysis in the above?


Maybe, but probably not; in fact it seems that some analysis of sources of pleasure and pain is a fitting and salutary strategy.   It is good to know the why of our grins and whence of our tears.  And as I do precisely this, it seems to me that too often I expect a lot from tomorrow and never cash in on today; where I find joy in a flower’ s fragrance, in a wine’s bouquet, in a word well turned.


In the end it seems that what most matters is a return to life’s simplicity in the midst of the chaos that simply is.  Such a return enables us to see “riches” differently; neither a question of desert nor destiny but attention. This attention comes as both gift and discipline; sometimes together, sometimes apart, but always with the startling realization that there is more:  more than we can ask or imagine. 


10 thoughts on “Ridiculously Rich

  1. Marie Taylor says:

    I think there is a hidden tape in our heads that says we should not enjoy things too much or we will be punished. Perhaps it comes from hubris, thinking that we are the authors of our good fortune, rather than the recipients of grace. Lots of ponder. Thanks.

  2. shoreacres says:

    Actually, who among us deserves any of our riches, ridiculous or not? All is grace, say some, and every good thing which comes is a manifestation of grace. Looking back, I even can find a bad thing or two that might have been gifts of grace – although not recognized as such at the time!

    As for anxiety, I’ve always found Julian of Norwich the best guide through that thicket: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” The path may not be clear, but the destination surely is.

  3. agjorgenson says:

    Julian’s quote is a favourite. She truly invites us to see the world through graced lenses, and my, what a different world it is. As you note, even some of those dark days can be seen differently.

  4. jannatwrites says:

    Measuring riches in a non-monetary way makes more of the population wealthy! I can understand the nagging voice of anxiety when things are going too well – it has a way of dampening our happiness if we dedicate attention to it.

  5. agjorgenson says:

    Thanks for commenting. It is funny how we all things to dampen our happiness, especially when it is altogether too rare.

  6. Denise Hisey says:

    Allen, your post is my first read since re-entering the blog world after vacation/summer insanity and what a treat! I used to have this tape running in my head, too, and until I read this I didn’t recognize its absence. Another marker of progress, I think. I feel wealthy in ways you mention as well. We are blessed. Thank you for the reminder!

  7. agjorgenson says:

    Good to have you back! Yes, it is a mark of progress to know of your wealth. I am always thankful for people who help me to remember this.

  8. Thanks for this post Allen…lots to ponder here, but even more a call to be in the moment, where riches aren’t always what we think they will be. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. agjorgenson says:

    Glad you enjoyed it.

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