Money continues to be the leading cause of stress for Americans, a new survey finds. This is the opening statement in an article by Dennis Thompson for Healthday. Is the statement true for you? Whether it is or not, we all have felt what it is like to not have enough money to pay for something. When that “something” is food or electricity, stress can easily enter our life. If the “something” is a desired purse or new golf club, stress will probably not make us lose any sleep. What if (gotta love, what ifs), what if money was never a factor? What if we never needed money or currency of any type? Can you even imagine that? A world where everyone has everything they need and many things they want, and no currency was ever asked for and certainly not demanded. I know the thought of a world without currency is a hard thing to settle in our minds, but stay with me. Achieving an existence like this is not the main point.
If we woke up in this fantasy world tomorrow, would you go to work? Would you still hold down a job if you did not need money? Don’t be so quick to answer. There once was a very wise man, he was actually the wisest man ever, and he struggle with this dilemma. He had so much money that he never had that feeling of not being able to pay for something. If he wanted something, he would buy it or pay someone to build it. He says he did not withhold any pleasure from his heart, and whatever his eyes desired he obtained. Yet he was still troubled. He did great work. He studied exhaustively, and strived tirelessly. While he worked his heart rejoiced, but when he viewed the results of the work, what he gained from his efforts, he said it was meaningless.
Here is the lesson Solomon (the wise man) learned. When he worked only for results, when he got excited about what he would gain as payment for his work, he was always left wanting. When he realized the reward was in the work itself, he was filled. “For my heart rejoiced in all my labor.” “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works.” God knows we need “things” and money to buy those things. Also, He knows we need to work. He gave us work, not to earn money to fill our bank accounts, but to fill our spirit. If you have never found joy in work, read Ecclesiastes and let King Solomon teach you the joy of work. And the heartache of just wanting a paycheck.