I once presented, a Suze Orman series as a class at the church I served in Virginia. As we listened to the very first tape, we were instructed to take a dollar bill out of our wallet and to look at it, then tear it in half. My stomach still turns over when I think of that!
Several weeks later, I decided to try this out on a friend of mine. Because she did not have a dollar bill, she brought out a ten. I smiled inwardly...if I had a difficult time with a single dollar, she would never be able to do this! When I told her to tear it in half, she actually tore it into about 50 pieces and tossed it onto the table. Meanwhile, I was trying to figure whether I could tape it back together, and if it would still spend. She said, "It's only money." I would also like to point out that she is never short on money. She sees money in the positive light as a channel of good, but not the Source.
Keeping in mind, spiritual maturity includes the ability to embrace and comprehend paradox, I would like to explore our personal "money paradox" today.
On one hand we can look at money as just a piece of paper, or we can look at it as a critical lifeline to the food, clothing, shelter and comforts we desire in life. Some folks look at money as a symbol of their personal worth. Most of us have consciously, or unconsciously "named" our money. The word "name" means "nature of." Some people have "named" their money "Not Enough." Others have named it "Dirty." Yet others, "Hard to Get." Still others name their money "Power and Influence," or "opportunity." What have you "named" your money? Whatever you have "named" it, it will...by right of consciousness ...become to you. The good news is...you CAN rename it!
The ability to rename our money, can change our relationship with it; change our consciousness, and the flow of good into our lives. Let's think for a moment about the name money has been given, "Currency." Like a current if flows to us and through us. Wisely sent forth, like fertilizer, it can increase everything we want more of. If sent forth unconsciously it could increase what we do not want. Do you know what you have been "fertilizing" with your money?
So, the paradox is this: Money is a piece of paper we have individually and collectively given a value to. It is "only" money. Conversely money represents hours of our lives, it reflects the value of our skills and talents, and the value of the things we are willing to give it to. When we give our money to something, we give our life-energy to it. We give the hours we worked to obtain it.
Money is not the source of our good. God is our source. Even if you "lose" money, by right of consciousness your true source has an unlimited supply to replenish you.
As a minister, it is always difficult for me to hear folks say, "The church is always asking for money." While they say it is "their" church, they seem to forget that "their" church requires financial support just as their households do; that their clergy, staff and facility require and deserve to flourish; to grow and shine and better serve God and them; and to be able to continue to provide the services to the community and to them that they claim to value.
I invite you to think on this the next time the offering basket is passed at the church you attend. Think not that this is something that is a "commandment," rather that it is a reflection of the value you hold for what you have received from the Source.
So...go ahead and take a dollar...or ten...out of your wallet. Don't worry, I am not going to ask you to tear it up. But take a good look, turn it over to the back side. Here you will read the most important words on the bill. "In God We Trust." Whatever your financial situation, remind yourself of that daily. In God We Trust."
May you "Live Long and Prosper," RevAli