My Take on Prosperity
By McStroodle Jones
Prosperity means many different things to many different people and like most I have my own concept of this particular idea. I learned what prosperity truly is for me by reading scripture and attempting to make sense of it in a modern world.....
Prosperity means many different things to many different people and like most I have my own concept of this particular idea. I learned what prosperity truly is for me by reading scripture and attempting to make sense of it in a modern world, as such I am unable to avoid writing about scripture here. It is important for me to point out though that whilst I read scripture, I have never bothered with memorizing it (I simply don't see the point). Given that, there will obviously be a fair bit of paraphrasing going on here so hopefully you will indulge me for a little while.
I have been reading the Bible for a long long time, and every once in a while I'll just read the thing cover to cover like all the other great books I have loved over the years. It is one of the most fascinating reads I have ever or will ever be likely to come across and behind the awfully complex, sometimes bizarre language, one can always find a brand new and brilliant point that has previously remained hidden.
It is in this context that I found the most magnificently elegant and simple explanation of the concept of prosperity. So here we are, the teacher is one Jesus of Nazareth and the story goes thus.
Jesus is out and about seeing folk and shaking hands, doing the miracle bit and having a good ol time with the locals in Thatburg (a random suburb of an Israelite city, possibly Somewhereville). It's a big weekend and he's due to do a show down by the local lake that morning and so he heads on down to where the crowd is already warming up. As he gets to the gig Jesus is informed that the previous night the catering manager quit and so nothing has been prepared by way of nibblies and treats for the boisterous crowd. Upon hearing this several members of Jesus' impressive entourage begin to lose their cool, panic is the order of the day and chaos pops in to say hi how are you doing? Cool departs the scene and given that calm is sorted keen on cool, they decide to go to the local something approximating coffee shop and share a brew. Meanwhile back at the ranch there is a hive of frantic activity as the retinue attempt to find a catering solution on short notice and with zero budget, things are not shaping up for a good gig and everyone is getting a bit more than frantic.
In the middle of all this chaos Jesus just stands there enjoying the beautiful warmth of the sun as it peeks out from behind some awfully stunning and incredibly fluffy white clouds. He simply enjoys the sensation of the golden rays lightly impacting on his skin and is contentedly soaking up the moment. After a delightful moment or two of absorbing this experience and in the midst of a sea of frenetic panic, Jesus says quietly and with awesome poise “Has anyone bothered to enquire as to whether any in the crowd have some food with them?” Dazed silence is the response from the entourage and the organizers of the event. “Who is this guy?” They ask themselves, “and is he nuts?”
Jesus just smiles at them with a cheeky gleam in his eye and that look your father gets just before he shows you whats what lightly spread across his face. He wanders into the front ranks of the noisy gathered crowd and calmly asks “Does anyone have any food with them?”
“I gotta couple of fish” says one.
“Me too” adds another.
“Would a loaf of bread help?” From somewhere off to the left.
“Make that 5, ye olde worlde Tesco is having a sale” shouts a bargain hunter from the back.
“Thank you, that would all be very helpful” says Jesus as he accepts the goods with a cheshire grin.
Returning to the entourage Jesus proclaims “it's alright fellas we've got what we need”.
At which point one of the entourage spits “are you insane, that's enough to feed like a small family lunch and we have a crowd of 3000, are you completely unhinged?”
Unperturbed Jesus simply says “It'll be fine dude”. And with that he broke up the bread and cut the fish and went about in the crowd, greeting and sharing, talking and listening, partaking and giving. At the end of the introductory snacks he returned to the administration area where his retinue were busy biting their nails. Anxiety their friend and worry wrapping them like a warm blanket from their youth, a trusty but unhelpful companion from childhood. Jesus ambles up to them with his plate, bopping along to a cheery ditty in his head and upon presenting himself simply smiles at them. “How did it go?” blurts excitedly from the mouth of the individual who's nerves are the most frayed, who's patience had in distress abandoned him and run away screaming. Jesus simply looks down at the plate………….
………... which contains left overs!
This is the kind of thing that manages to make its way from the page to my brain when I read the Bible. I apologize if it seems a little disrespectful to some and I feel I must stress that it is not meant to be, it's simply the way I read the book. I think that maybe it makes more sense to me if I can realize that 2000 years ago people were really not so different from us, even if the language was.
Anyway that's the parable of the loaves and the fishes and like I was writing at the beginning, this parable taught me all I need to know about prosperity. Whilst the others were fretting and panicking Jesus simply set about doing what he could with what he had, the others got nothing done and Jesus nourished the masses. He did it with a few scraps of food, some conversation and his awesome presence and that was enough when he made wise use of it all. Therein lies the art of prosperity!
Prosperity is the wise, effective and efficient use of what we have and little more than that.
If we use what we have wisely and in an efficient manner to be effective in achieving a goal to our best possible standard, then we will always have more than we need. Not money nor perceived wealth equal prosperity. A person can have billions in the bank and through a lack of wisdom, a refusal to be efficient and a penchant for the ineffective that person will never have enough and never be truly prosperous. You might have all the money in the world, but if you have it you can lose it and what then?
Jesus didn't have a bank account or a stock portfolio, hadn't been employed for quite some time if you believe the rumours and yet he has been the embodiment of the prosperous soul for 2 millenia. I don't know about you but I think it's worth thinking on that one for a while.