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Better than money

By Dr. Spencer Price A long time ago, when I was a little kid, I heard a man say, ‘That’s better than money.’ I don’t know who he was or to what he was referring, but I never forgot that comment. A few nights ago, I was sitting beside my wife as she held our newborn son. We were both looking down at him as she spoke to him softly. With blue eyes wide, he looked up at her, as though taking in every word. Suddenly, for what seemed no particular reason, he smiled. And then it hit me ‘“ ‘That’s better than money,’ I thought. In the few days since, I’ve pondered often the notion of things that are ‘better than money.’ And it’s occurred to me there are lots of them. Some of these things are uniquely personal while others appear universal to us all. Whether momentous events or slight occurrences, these things have in common a kind of satisfaction that money just can’t buy. And whether complex situations or random coincidences, these things yield a feeling that is simply priceless. For instance, a first kiss is better than money ‘“ and that’s true at any age. So is discovering that someone you adore adores you in return. A child’s first step is better than money. And his first word qualifies as well. And what about the expression on that child’s face when, on Christmas morning, he discovers Santa really does exist. That is definitely better than money. Seeing a dog wag its tail is better than money, especially if it’s your dog and it’s looking at you. But, then again, seeing any dog wag its tail is priceless in a simple kind of way. Knowing a young person is doing well, making good choices, and growing into a responsible adult is a good feeling ‘“ a feeling much better than money. Knowing an elderly person can look back upon her life with a sense of contentment and without a sense of regret is better than most anything, especially money. Coming home from a long trip is better than money since there really is no place like home. And, if loved ones are there awaiting your return, the moment is made even better. A surprise party is better than money and that goes for the surprisee and the surprisers. Curiously, finding a $10 dollar bill you didn’t know you had might not be worth more than a $10 dollar bill you know you have, but it sure feels like it. Being on the receiving end of an act of kindness from a stranger is better than money. In fact, one of the only things better than that is being on the giving end of an act of kindness to a stranger. Better than money is seeing someone truly happy, whether that person be a family member, friend, or complete stranger. We may not always recognize it, but it’s always true. When the result of a medical test is good news rather than bad, the feeling of relief is much better than money. So is the thankfulness one feels toward God at such a time. An answered prayer is better than money and even better than that is the knowledge that God is, always has been, and always will be. And, best of all, knowing that the end of our lives isn’t really our end but, rather, a new beginning is worth more than money. In fact, in my opinion, that’s worth more than anything.

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