You're Dreaming. You're not sure how you know it's a dream. Maybe it's because you're seven years old again and God is standing before you wearing a pair of Reeboks and blue jeans. God has told you to make a wish and he'll make it come true. You wish for riches. Of course. Who wouldn't?
The next moment in your dream, you're old like maybe fifty. And you're not rich. In fact, you're upset with God for not making your wish come true as he had promised. "I asked you to make me rich," you complain to God. "I did," God answers softly.
"Nuh-uh," you protest. You turn your pockets inside out, revealing nothing but pocket lint and six cents, all in pennies.
"Remember when I gave you my commandment to 'act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God'? And remember when I told you to 'follow justice' and 'do for others what you would like them to do for you'?"
"Yeah," you say, nodding.
"Well, that alone was worth a fortune to you," God says.
"What?" you say. "How do you figure?"
"Well," says God, "let's just take one example. Obeying those commands protected you from the guilt of cheating people and treating them unfairly, right?" "Well, yeah," you say, "I guess so."
"That saved you the $27,410 you would have paid to a therapist to try to overcome your guilt. That doesn't even count the money you saved from not buying sleeping pills and antacids to combat the sleeplessness and indigestion that would have resulted if you had ignored my commands."
"Wow," you say, suddenly feeling very sheepish. "I guess I never thought about it that way before."
"So you see," God says, putting the calculator into the pocket of his jeans, "I really did grant you your wish. I made you rich-in more ways than one."
And you remind yourself that it's a dream, because in real life God wouldn't wear jeans or would he?
REFLECT: Why do you think obeying God's commands protects us from guilt and provides us with a clear conscience?
PRAY: "God, sometimes I wish for things that you know aren't right for me. Thanks for saying no. Now give me the 'treasure of good sense' today as I get ready to..."