Twenty-six-year-old Ellen Fleming of Boston realized a childhood dream.
She received a voicemail that a deposit had been made into her Ameritrade account. When she checked it online she discovered that her balance was no longer $63. It was over $1.1 million. She was a millionaire.
Had a rich uncle favored her in his will? Had a secret admirer watched her struggles from afar and richly endowed her? Maybe some stocks suddenly skyrocketed in value?
Whatever the reason, Ellen immediately began to imagine all the wonderful things she could do with her newfound fortune. “I could quit my job, do whatever I wanted to do, pay off my student loans. You need to take every opportunity that’s handed to you.”
But Ellen had better sense than that. She contacted her financial advisor and told him that someone must have made a mistake; someone must have mistaken her for another Ellen Fleming. Sad to say, but she was right. Ten minutes after contacting Ameritrade her account returned to its old humble figure of $63. She had enjoyed her millionaire status for only ten minutes.
There was, however, one bright spot to this story as Ellen Fleming explained. “I am very humbled that although I lost my money, my family stood by me.”
If we’d only realize that God’s greatest gifts in this life are those people which we too often consider burdens—our spouse, children, and extended family. If we’d only grasp how transitory material wealth and possessions are. And if we’d only understand the truth of Jesus’ words that life is so much more than food, clothing, and shelter (Matt. 6:25). Our priorities would be right and our lives so much happier.
Dear Father in heaven, please open my eyes to the blessings You pour into my life every day. Please keep me from sacrificing my relationship with you and my family in the pursuit of things destined to perish. May I live with eternity’s values in mind. Amen.