First Things First

First Things First

A tourist from New York City was vacationing in Texas and came across a fishing boat that had just docked. The vacationer complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Texan.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the New Yorker.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The New Yorker, a Wall Street stockbroker, asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I play with my children, read to them, and take them fishing. I do lots of volunteer work, especially at church. My wife and I like to have friends over frequently. I have a very full life.”

The stockbroker interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little town and move to Los Angeles or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Texan.

“Twenty or 25 years,” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets interesting. When your business gets really big you can go public with your company and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a small town on the coast, play with your grandchildren, read to them, and take them fishing. You can do lots of church volunteer work. And you and your wife can have friends over frequently. You’ll have a very full life.”

Where are your priorities? If you live long enough to retire are you going to look back on your life and be happy with the way you chose to spend your time? Are you going to devote your energy to laying up treasures on earth or in heaven?

Think about it.