"'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.' The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him." -Lamentations 3:24-26
The hierarchy of needs prior to a genuine spiritual life can look something like this: financial, physical, intellectual, relational, then spiritual growth or commitment. We recognize that we have to learn, to play, to create; to have purpose, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves; to think, to feel, to experience life; to have relationships; to eat well, grow our food, take care of our bodies.
fundamental question that arises when we choose to live a God-centered versus self-centered life is this, beyond 'what do I think' or 'what do I believe':
Quite literally, what do I ultimately serve?
Because whether we ask that question of ourselves or not, the quality of our life depends on the answer.
This, I have seen, is why some people are never really happy: because there's no way to have enough of something you don't need.
But money motivates us. Most people have bought into the idea that more of it increases happiness- when all more of it really increases is comfort. There is in reality no correlation between money and pure happiness, nothing that money can do or buy that would touch and heal and free the soul of anyone. Of course it would make anyone's life easier. But that's not the same as better.
And to believe that would subconsciously change what we believe to be true about us, about ourselves, about our truest nature: that we really are worth more than what we have, or what we think, or what we can show or prove to other people. We are always worth, to God, unfathomably more than any price we could ever name.
It is confidence beyond confidence.
The humbling thing for me is that it's the exact opposite economy of everything I have spent my whole life working for: School, then a job, then financial security. Physical: what things look like, anything from the clothes we wear to the style we try to hard to present to the world, to the maintenance of our bodies.
All things things fade away and are very short-lived. They are ultimately un-sustaining. And every day I'm driven deeper into the reality that everything I do for God flips everything I ever thought I could do for myself on its head- and makes it look self-serving, uninspired, and short-sighted.
And that's been the most beautiful thing about my whole life.