Being truly wealthy has nothing to do with money and everything to do with a living God, a Florida businessman told an audience at one of Oklahoma City’s most popular prayer gatherings Tuesday.
“As you look past the money ... you’ll be able to see Him, and more importantly, you’ll be able to hear Him, and He will be able to use you,” H. Wayne Huizenga Jr. told a crowd of about 1,250 at the 31st annual Metro Prayer Breakfast at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
The event is hosted each year by the Christian Business Men’s Connection, a faith organization widely known as the CBMC of Oklahoma City. The prayer gathering annually draws a host of national, state and city leaders, along with professionals from all walks of life, and Tuesday was no exception. Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett shared greetings, with Cornett offering a prayer.
Others who led prayers included Brent Vawter with Card Harvest; Steve Trice, Jasco Products founder, president and CEO; and U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City.
Vawter thanked the Lord for the city’s prosperity.
“By so many measures, this city and state is prospering above so many others. Father we don’t want to take that for granted,” he said.
Lankford led a prayer for the nation, but before doing so, he said he was concerned that believers’ “rage against politics” may hinder their ability to speak into the hearts of the community. He said there are effective ways to speak out for God’s way and His justice.
“We as believers set the example for our community. We set the tone,” Lankford said.
In his keynote speech, Huizenga, president of Huizenga Holdings Inc., told the crowd about how his father faithfully worked to start his own sanitation business, then later went on to become very successful in a number of business ventures. Huizenga said his father, at one time, owned three major Florida sports teams: the Miami Dolphins, the Florida Marlins and the Florida Panthers, before eventually selling them. Also, Huizenga said his father gave each of his children money to purchase stock in Blockbuster Video and they all became wealthy from that venture. Huizenga Holdings Inc. is a diversified company that manages the Huizenga family owned private businesses and real estate. Huizenga also is chairman of the board of Rybovich, a super yacht marina and refit facility based in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Building a relationship
Huizenga said as a wealthy young businessman, he wasn’t interested in attending church for many years because he spent his weekends drinking and partying — the types of activities his wealth afford him. He said he eventually began attending church, but his life didn’t change significantly until he attended a church service with friends and surrendered his heart to the Lord.
“I moved from a relationship with a building of wonderful people to a relationship with a living God,” he said.
Huizenga said he found solace in his faith after his mother’s death from cancer and the deaths of several other relatives and the young son of close friends.
“That’s when I realized that true wealth wasn’t about money. True wealth occurs the day you open your heart to let Jesus inside.”