Except their good life isn’t exactly so ‘good’.
It takes a lot of money to finance all the after school activities, and the house help, and the nanny, and the designer labels, and the expansive entertaining they like to do in order to enjoy ‘the good life’, and with the economic downturn gathering pace, money has been getting tighter and tighter.
The bank has been covering the difference in what they spend and what they earn, enabling them to continue to live ‘the good life’ even though they can’t really afford it. But even bank credit has its limit and the banks have told them they have a certain amount of time to cover their debts or they’re going to force the sale of their big house.
In the meantime, all the stress and pressure is starting to take its toll on their health, particularly on all areas connected to the stomach meridian, the main place where all the worry about day-to-day life congregates in our bodies. Each of them have been in and out of hospital for a number of minor procedures, but the operations aren’t really solving their health problems: like the bank loans, they’re a temporary sticking plaster that actually only make things worse in the long run.
At this point, the person who contacted me is starting to read the writing on the wall, and to realize that God is the one pulling the plug on their ‘good life’. But letting go of all the status symbols, the fancy restaurants, the expensive holidays and the luxuries is not a simple matter. I mean, if you can’t live ‘the good life’, then what’s the point of even being down here in the first place?
If you haven’t got a spiritual answer to that question, then you’ll struggle to find a satisfactory response. What is the point of being alive, if you can’t visit the places you want to, or live in the style you’re accustomed to, or buy what you want, when you want it? That just sounds like a recipe for misery and bitterness.
Luckily, as soon as you put ideas like God, and the human soul, into the picture, everything completely changes around. Because we aren’t down here to pamper ourselves and live in the lap of luxury. Believe me, God is omnipotent, and He’d have absolutely no problem setting everyone up with a villa, a yacht, a pool and $50 billion in the bank, if that’s what we needed to be happy.
So why doesn’t He do that? Why doesn’t He give everyone ‘the good life’? The answer is simple: the good life can’t be defined by owning more stuff. It’s defined by experiences. And the best experience of all is to get to know God as much as possible.
Now, all the materiality that the world is awash in can block God out very easily. When someone is watching TV, or surfing the net for hours a day, or spending all their time renovating the kitchen, planning the next fabulous cruise, or tracking down the perfect outfit, the chances of them getting to know the real them a little more, or discovering they have a soul and an inner spiritual dimension, is usually pretty small.
So what does God do? Often, He pulls the plug on ‘the good life’ so that we’ll stop wasting our life and potential running after things that don’t satisfy and uplift us, and we’ll start to look for an alternative to ‘the good life’ that actually makes us happy.
Knowing why you’re alive makes you happy. Having a strong sense of purpose makes you happy (and has also been proven to help you to live longer). Building a connection to God makes you happy.
Once you’ve got all those things sussed out, God may well throw in a mansion or a couple of million bucks too, to help grease the wheels. But He only does that for people who already know that ‘soul’ and not ‘stuff’ is really the essence of the good life.