Someone said that, “We’re all millionaires and don’t know it.”  I read this in a book about 20 years ago.  The book was about Jesus living his life as a contemporary man…and riding a Harley!* Although Joan Brady’s book does not portray a biblical view of Christ, her point is well-taken.


When I reflect upon my good health, my relationships, my material blessings, the gift of God’s Spirit living in me, and so many, many blessings, which I often recount to myself at the end of the day, I am so thankful!  I REALLY AM a millionaire in a spiritual sense.  In one of the American Indian cultures, a person is considered rich, if they know a lot of songs.  I’m rich in that way, too!


I just read a book called “The Richest Man in Town,” by V.J. Smith.  This short book is about an elderly cashier at Wal-Mart.  The cashier’s name was Marty.  Marty served about 200 customers a day, and after each transaction, Marty walked around the counter to shake the customer’s hand and to thank them for coming to Wal-Mart.


Well, people started to line up at Marty’s cash register simply to receive their greeting, sometimes a hug, and always a smile.  Other lines were very short while Marty’s line stretched quite a ways!


V.J. Smith happened to shop at Wal-Mart and observed Marty’s acts of kindness on several occasions.  Finally, V.J. wrote a letter to the president of Wal-Mart.  Subsequently, Marty was one day honored by all of the employees at the local Wal-Mart.  They clapped and cheered for him.  Marty could hardly believe it!


V.J. Smith met with Marty many times, as they became the best of friends.  Because V.J. is a motivational speaker, he started to tell the story of Marty everywhere he spoke.  At times Marty would accompany him on his speaking engagements.  Of course, Marty would always get a standing ovation that brought him to tears.


Marty taught V.J. three basic principles: Relationships matter most in life; try to do a little more; only you can make yourself happy.  What solid principles these are! 


Of course, for many of us, our lives are centered in our relationship with God.  Perhaps, that was also true for Marty.  Also, our primary source of happiness is truly our relationship with God. Perhaps, that was also true for Marty and he simply “loved his neighbor as himself.”


Even though Marty may have defined these important principles in life in a slightly different way than some of us would define them, Marty is a role model for us all.


Marty finally received the Wal-Mart’s Hero Award at a convention where Colin Powell addressed 13,000 managers and supervisors.  It was the most touching moment of Marty’s life.


Marty died in 2004 and 1,000’s of people mourned his passing.  In his casket, Marty wore his red Wal-Mart vest with his badge that read “Marty.”  Balloons, photographs, and a poster board to sign for the benefit of Marty’s wife and children adorned Marty’s cashier station.  Also, at the station, the light that indicates a station is open remained on even though Marty wasn’t there. 


Marty became known only because V.J. Smith wrote a letter to the president of Wal-Mart.  Whether any of us ever become well known, I think Marty is an example to us all to take time for what’s important in life: loving other people. Marty was quite aware that he was rich in relationships.  I think it’s important for all of us to put God and people first and realize that we can all give love, as Marty did, and “We’re all millionaires and don’t know it!”  All of us can be “the richest man in town – just like Marty!”


*Disclaimer: “God on a Harley,”by Joan Brady does not portray a biblical Christ, as in the “Joshua” series, by Joseph Girzone.

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