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Thursday, August 11, 2005
I'm rich!

To say things have been tight financially around here lately would be an understatement. We live in the bay area, quite possibly the most expensive place to live in the world. Although lately I've been getting around 25-30 hours from my job, there was about a month there where I wasn't working at all, just hitting the classifieds, monster, bajobfinder, craigslist, hotjobs, and careerbuilder from the time I got up until around 6, when companies stop posting new jobs for the day. I thought for sure I was an "in" at a couple of the places I applied at, considering all of the "skills" I had that pertained to that particular job. But, days went by and now weeks without any call. So apparently I wasn't as "in" as I thought I was. With Nicki just graduating, and taking some much deserved and needed time off from all things labor intensive, being out of work, albeit for that one month, couldn't have come at a worse time. Even when I am actually working steady, living in the bay area still makes it hard to get ahead. So not working for that short period of time really set us back. A lot of spaghetti dinners. A lot.

I know it's frustrating for my wife too, who because of her very nature of being a woman, likes security. And it's not a very secure atmosphere when your husband is having trouble finding work and the bills are starting to pile up. Along with my wife being the career/goal orientated person she is, and the fact she's known shes wanted to be a chiropractor since she was 12, and now has achieved that, it's also got to be frustrating that her 27 year old husband has had about 5 different jobs since we've been together. I understand that.

A lot of people we know in life, and a lot of people in general, base their opinion of success on how much they have in the bank, what car they drive, and things of that nature. Making it worse, a lot of people we know base their opinion of us on those same principles. They feel that since I'm not pulling in 60k a year, that for lack of a better phrase, "I'm not pulling my own weight." Their definition of "rich" goes no further than the materialistic things in life. Some of these same people also think I'm, for lack of a better term "lazy", because I'm unwilling to go get that$ 60k a year job, doing something I hate, but doing it to make our lives better. Since I'm not sitting behind a desk, they think I must not care that much about finances or possesions. Some of these people also think that I'm waiting for Nicki to start working so I can sit back and cash the checks. These people are wrong.

I have no problem admitting the fact that at 27, I haven't provided and been able to do a lot of the things I thought I would be able to do. I have no problem admitting that at times, I haven't exactly known for a fact what it is that I wanted to do with my life. In the past 4 years alone, I've done about 4 different careers because at one point I "thought" that's what I wanted to do. I went to art school because I thought I wanted to make video games. However, A)I wasn't good at it, and B)knew something inside of me was telling me that God didn't give me the gifts and talents I have to sit behind a desk all day and make video games. After art school I worked at a home for severly emotionally disturbed teens. After 3 months I found out that that wasn't God had planned for me either as A) the place was shut down because of the way they treated the kids and B)I loved those kids so much that I wanted to take them all home with me and give them the life I had growing up. And on my 26th birthday I literally broke down and wept for a half hour because I had to "put hands" and restrain one of the kids who was trying to hurt me and the other kids. After the group home I got the gig on the TV show, but quickly found out that that wasn't what God had in mind for me(although he did use it to teach me a great deal about myself and what it means to take up the cross daily) because A)I didn't conduct myself in a Christian manner while I was on the show, and B)because I had that feeling again that God was telling me that although I was using my talents and gifts he gave me, I wasn't using them in the correct forum. After the I decided to leave the show, I worked for Lucasarts for 6 weeks just to make some money, then went to a startup and basically worked for peanuts because I was being promised the world and given stocks and a percentage of the company. After that didn't workout (although I still own the stock and 2.5 percent, so I hope they still do well) I went back to installing phones because it pays good and there's usually always some work to do, even though I loathe it.

So about a month ago at a church picnic, my pastor comes up to me and says he'd like to talk to me about something. I figured I was in trouble or something, but it turned out that he was offering me a job with the church making movies, videos, interviews and other forms of media. Not only that, but the church was going to help out towards the purchase of a very nice video camera. That was in June, and the church job wasn't going to start until August. So for two months I prayed that God would provide me with a great job that I could do to coincide with the church job because I hate it so much. Not the people, but the work.

Today something happened to me though. While sitting at the leadership summit I was thinking about things. And then it hit me. "I already have it." I wrote that down as soon as I thought it. "I already have it." What does that mean?? It means I already have the great job. The church video job is something so incredibly awesome and important. How did I not realize I already had the great job I was so earnestly seeking. Something was said today that I've heard a million times before but really had an impact on me today. "If you do well with a little of what God gives you, he will give you a lot." If I can really seek God and use this ministry for his glory and honor, then the skies the limit. Who knows, 5 years from now I could be the Christian film Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise. An influential producer/actor that is making films and media that tie into my faith. Sure movies are awesome and I want to marry them, but how much more awesome would it be to make films that can change peoples lives for Christ?

And then something else hit me on the way home. All of these people basing their opinion on me pertaining to what I drive/own/have in the bank are so way off base and completely don't "get it". Because the way I see it, I'm practically the richest man on Earth. Although I may not have the great career, a nice car, a 401k or all of those other things people base "success" on, I'll tell you why I'm one of the richest men alive.

I have Jesus Christ in my heart, which is my free ticket to heaven when I die. I have a beautiful albeit "in need of TLC" 4 bedroom home in Fremont. I have a beautiful healthy wife, I myself am healthy. I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 cars, food in the pantry (even if it is a lot of pasta), steady enough work to pay the bills, a great church, family that loves me, and the greatest job I could ever ask for on the horizon. I'm rich! And at least I get it. Some people think life is about money and possesions. They work 60 hours a week to drive the awesome car and have the beautiful home so they can be "successful" in the worlds eyes. But they don't get it. I've been the janitor at my church for $10 an hour, I've worked at a group home for $11 an hour, I volunteer as a youth leader for my churches youth ministry, I am involved in the churches other ministries helping out with those as well. I get it. Life is about serving. Life is about what can I do for you, not what can you do for me. I don't care if I'm never successful in most everyone elses eyes. To the people that "get it", I'm one of the richest men ever.

posted by Ricky @ 7:20 PM  
  • At 8/11/2005 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good call!

    and i'm still up for making sountracks for ya, if the need be...

  • At 8/11/2005 11:08:00 PM, Blogger Jackson said…

    Great post, duder.

  • At 8/12/2005 07:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That was a very mature and thoughtful post and a pleasure to read. You are a rich man.

  • At 8/12/2005 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 8/12/2005 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Darlene Schacht said…

    I just turned 40 recently and I told my husband who's now 41 that it would seem we are being sifted. When you enter your thirties and edge closer to forty it all naturally becomes clear. At thirty we had jobs that sucked, without a dollar to our name. God lead us to buy a company headed for bankruptcy and we followed his lead. How we ever did it without a dime is a miracle in itself. Ten years later I can see that everything I dipped my toes into during my twenties was God preparing me for the road that lay ahead which is a book designer that I am now.

    I saw you and your wife on the web cam for five minutes the other day, and anyone could see you are the luckiest couple around. You're both hotties that are hopelessly in love. Even Oprah can't buy that. Congrats on an amazing job.

  • At 8/12/2005 09:23:00 PM, Blogger Ricky said…

    darlene you are quickly becoming my favorite person. keep it up. ;)

  • At 8/15/2005 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Ricky, It was great to read these latest revelations. I'm proud to have you as a son-in-law and glad to see that you are growing by leaps and bounds in your faith. As Jesse says, you are indeed rich! And now to use some HTML tags (whatever they are) like you suggested. This is gonna be fun, I know. Here goes: >b<,>i<, and >a< (yeah, I customized them too!) Wow. How'd I do?

  • At 8/18/2005 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Marla Bean said…

    Hey Ricky, that is an awesome post. You and Nicki and Justin and I need to hang out, because that is what we have been talking about. This whole theory that earthly success is fleeting. That's why I'm working dilligently to get out from the enslavement to my debtors - damn the man and the credit cards (and my former shopping addiction and that cute Kate Spade bad and...)! I am working on my heart so that the material things I desire do not take over. Man. Ricky, that is a great post. It belongs in a hall fame blogs.

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