What is the difference between riches and wealth?
When we first moved into the house we have now I would sometimes set out on the back porch at night and enjoy the coolness of the evenings. The girls would lay down in the lawn and keep a watchful eye. In the springtime as the sun set I would hear the chirping of frogs.
I knew that frogs didn't live on the prairie. Yet the sound was unmistakably that of frogs seeking their mate. It wasn't until latter that I found the source of chirping. It was a toad. These toads only come out when they have enough water to grow and reproduce. Which means you only hear them for a few weeks in the springtime.
This morning when I got home from work I spent a couple of hours setting on the porch listening to the frogs and watching the moonrise.
As I set enjoying myself I realized that I have been greatly blessed. Hashem allowed me the pleasure of enjoying my early adult life free from most of life's cares. We had enough money. Not having kids we had the ability to take nice trips and pursue recreational activities. I was living where I wanted, doing the things I wanted, with little concern for the future. Life was good.
Lately I've not felt that way. My friends are now able to do the things I once took for granted. Their kids are graduating high school and college. We're trying to teach ours to read. Economically times are much tougher. I worry over the future.
I still live a very blessed life. Like the grasshopper I lived a life of pleasure in the spring and early summer. Now I have to be the ant. The ant's life doesn't seem to be as much fun.
Back when I still traveled to do consulting, I had a job where I met a man who had just sold his business in Florida. His kids were out of the house and he and his wife were doing similar work to what I was doing. He and his wife were traveling together getting reacquainted with each other. As we sat talking after work that day he asked about my life. I told him that my second child was on the way and that I was looking to transition to a more 9 to 5 situation.
He remarked on my age and my late start on having a family. Then he told me something. He told me that the years coming up were good years. That I should hold onto them. That was eight years ago. He was right.
My bank account isn't what it used to be. In terms of riches, I'm poorer than I've been in a long time. In terms of blessing, I'm wealthily beyond what I deserve. When it comes to material things, I have it better than 95% of anyone who has ever lived on this planet. When it comes to having a life, what I have is a miracle of incredible proportions.
God is good. More than that, He has been good to me.
The frogs didn't care that tonight was cold. They were still out providing me with the same symphony that their forefathers preformed. A pleasant reminder that the good things in life are still just as good as ever. All I have to do is appreciate them.
These are the good ole days. They will be good years. I am blessed.