Have you ever felt that you are stuck in a rat race? Life feels like a vicious cycle of paying bills month after month and after month? It seems that you are tied to your work and the pressure of earning more or earning enough is just too much that you can handle.
As you look back on your childhood, every day seems to be a great adventure. But now, as adults, we have a lot of commitments, things to do, and to to-do lists to accomplish.
Before going further, let me share with you a story that will make you think about life. I want to use this story to illustrate the main point of this blog.
The American Investment Banker and the Mexican fisherman
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.
The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked, “How long does it take to catch them?”
The Mexican replied: “Just a few hours”.
The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s needs and sell a few more fish to have something in case of emergency.
The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep just to get enough energy, read books, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and happy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?”
The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
“Millions… Then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would get enough sleep to recharge your body, read books, play with your children, take siesta with your wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where you sip wine and play guitar with your amigos, you will have a full and happy life.”
A lesson to learn
This story illustrates the life of many people today.
Isn’t it amazing my dear friends how so many people today go through so much trouble, pain, and suffering just to get something that they already have?
The fisherman already has something that he would like to have in the last years of his life. However, the investor is guiding him to a longer and much more difficult path to what he wants to ultimately achieve.
Oh, how true it is when they say, “We work so hard to make a living that we forget to live.”
The wisest King of Israel wrote in Proverbs 23:4-5:
DO NOT OVERWORK TO BE RICH;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
What a great truism!
I believe if more people read, understand, and apply this Proverb, we could be seeing a happier and blessed world.
We are living in a sad and depressed world where it teaches us that the sure way to happiness is to get wealthier and acquire as much possession as possible.
Well, I hate to break it to you but if your main goal in life is to get rich, then you are making the biggest mistake of your life.
When I was in college, I learned something that stuck with me to this day.
We don’t live to work, but we work to live.
Now there’s a big difference between the two. God has given us a few decades to live, but He never intended that we should use all those years simply to work.
Our work isn’t the end of itself, but only a means to an end.
In other words, success in our job ISN’T the ultimate goal of living this life, but we should only use our job to achieve our greater purpose in life – and that is to be part of God’s kingdom!
This post originally appeared on BecomingChristians.com and was republished with permission. Article written by Joshua Infantado.