Connect the Dots
A number of years ago, I was golfing with a friend (whom I’ll call Stan) who had experienced incredible success in his business. During our time together, Stan told me he’d worked very diligently over the last few decades to build his businesses and, as a result, his family was set for life.
Then came his question that he’d been wrestling with: “Now that I’m entering the decade of my fifties, why should I work at the same pace? Why should I struggle to build my businesses any farther?”
The Holy Spirit instantly gave me the wisdom to reply to his question. Here’s what I said in response: “Let me pose another scenario to you. Suppose I was to say to you, ‘I’ve spent years working hard to write seventeen books that are now in over eighty languages with copies numbering in multiple millions. I’ve flown over ten million miles in the past twenty-five years, fought jet lag, experienced a variety of cultures and strange foods, and stayed in tiny hotel rooms—all to be able to minister the gospel all over the globe. The ministry is doing well, and finances are stable; Lisa and my children are set, too. Why should I continue to work at this same rate?”
He chuckled. “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when you face Jesus at the judgment.” My immediate response was, “This is exactly what you said to me in regard to your businesses.”
I then continued, “Some of my obvious gifts are writing and speaking; your gifts are related to business and giving. You just laughed at my scenario! However, your scenario is exactly the same. Your gifts are just as important for building the kingdom as mine are. In fact, yours may be more important, but you haven’t connected the dots!”
I’m glad to report that Stan is continuing to build his businesses, multiplying what God has entrusted to him. But here’s the far-too-common dilemma. There are many, like Stan had done, who have separated the sacred from the secular—elevating those in “ministry” positions while treating their calling as a career. The reason they’ve failed to connect the dots is because of an incorrect view of God’s purpose for their life.