“He Doesn’t Even Use His Steam Room”

That’s the sentence I overheard while I was getting changed in the locker room at the gym. And that’s the sentence that awakened a frustration within me regarding income inequality.

Now, you must understand the incredible irony at play here: I wear a t-shirt that says, “Capitalist”, I’m a small business owner, and I disagree with “wage ceilings”. So why am I complaining that someone has a steam room in their house that they don’t even use?

Jealousy, mostly.

And I know I shouldn’t be jealous, but its hard not to. I work 2 jobs (60+hrs/wk) so I can have a decent apartment, buy simple groceries, drive a 20 year old car, and exercise at the gym on the nice side of town. And it’s there that I overhear two boys talking about their friend’s steam room that he doesn’t use. We finish getting ready about the same time and I walk out to see them being picked up by housewife-mothers driving new luxury SUV’s.

But congrats to them. I mean, whatever their dad invented/sold/does is working out well for them. I should be happy. But it’s difficult.

And it’s not like my life is bad. My car is old, but faithful. My apartment is small, but quaint. My groceries are simple, but who doesn’t love tacos?! I have all that I need and more.

It may be nice to not ever stress about money, or worry if you have enough in your bank-account to cover the credit card bill & the rent. But I’m learning, and reminding myself, that some of the best things in life aren’t near as expensive as we think they are; mostly because they aren’t what we think they are.

This last weekend I drove out to the mountains to camp in the woods; I watched the stars, sat around a campfire, went hiking, exchanged stories, and grew close to guys that I consider to be brothers ($25 gas). I chopped down my own Christmas tree with a group of friends ($10 permit). My wife and I spent an afternoon laughing and talking while we threaded popcorn and crafted other make-shift ornaments ($5 popcorn, needle & thread).

The beauty of life isn’t measured in dollar signs and zeros. It’s easy to think that it is. And although it would be nice to worry less about how I’ll pay the bills, it’s nice to know that I can still choose to be content in every situation.

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” -1 Timothy 6:6–8