Confession: I like shoes. There, I've said it. I'm a shoe person.

Several years ago I found a pair of shoes that I loved. The way they fit is the way a pair of shoes ought to fit. The way they look on my feet is the way I want a pair of shoes to look. After wearing them for a while I discovered that they aged the way a pair of shoes ought to age. After wearing them for a while longer I began to look at other styles made by the same company. They are too expensive for me to pay full price so I began to watch for sales. Really good sales!

Eventually I purchased a second pair that I enjoyed just as much as the first. About that time I decided that I would know I was rich when I could have a pair of that brand of shoe in each color that I wear regularly. Dark brown, black, tan, etc. Recently, during a prayer (another confession: my eyes were open), I noticed my shoes and realized that I'm rich. Some have been re-soled and re-heeled a number of times. They still wear very well.

So, I think I'm rich.

That's quite a realization in this day of limited budgets, benefit cutbacks, layoffs, and reduced retirement funds. I don't know where the money we'll need to retire will come from. I don't have the money to write a check to pay my daughter's college tuition. I cannot afford tickets to the Final Four in the NCAA Basketball tournament, or the Masters, or the NBA Championship. But, I think I'm rich.

My feet are covered with very fine leather products. My body is clothed with clean, comfortable, and high quality clothes. My refrigerator is full of healthy and not so healthy food. My car has good tires, gets routine maintenance, and I can afford to put fuel in it whenever needed. Though I cannot afford to attend the sporting events mentioned above, I am able to watch them on a very nice television while sitting in a very comfortable chair. I guess I'm rich.

With those thoughts and confessions I often find myself praying this prayer:

So, I think I'm rich.

Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
(Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV)

Father, thank you for blessing me so richly.