CAN I BUY AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME

How Much Money Do You Make, Dad?

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his five-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question ?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it ?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know.  Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow ten dollars, please?”

The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed.   Think about why you’re being so selfish.  I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning.  How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son.  May be there was something he really needed to buy with that ten dollars and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.  “Are you asleep son?” he asked.

“No, daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man.  “It’s been long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that ten dollars you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he said. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled-up bills.

The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have twenty dollars now.  Can I buy an hour of your time?”

Source | Ernest Kurtz, Katherine Ketcham , Experiencing Spirituality:
Finding Meaning Through Storytelling (Tarcher 2014) page 98

CONSIDER THIS

To prove his love for her, he swam the deepest river, crossed the widest desert and climbed the highest mountain. She divorced him. He was never home. – Rose Sands

 

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THE FISHERMAN

Once upon a time there was an investment banker.  He lived in New York City, was phenomenally successful, and made a ton of money.  But his life was busy, noisy, and very stressful.

So, once a year, he would leave the city and go down to a small coastal village in Mexico.  For two weeks he would rest, relax, and allow himself to be rejuvenated.

One day he was standing on the pier just before lunch, looking out to sea, when he noticed a small fishing boat coming in to dock.  He thought this was a little strange, because most of the fishermen used to stay out late in to the afternoon so they could catch as many fish as possible, before coming in and preparing the fish for market.

Curiosity overcame him.  So he walked over to where the fishing boat was about to dock.  Looking into the boat, he saw just one fisherman and several large yellow fin tuna.

“How long did it take you to catch those fish?” he said to the fisherman.

“Not very long,” the fisherman replied with a smile.

“Is there something wrong with your boat?” the American asked.

“Oh, no,” the fisherman said.  “In thirteen years I have never had a problem with the boat.”

The American was a little perplexed, so he asked the fisherman, “Why don’t you stay out there longer and catch more fish?”

The fisherman smiled again and said, “This is plenty here for my family right now.  Some of the fish we can eat, and the others we can sell or trade for the other things we need.”

“But it’s not even lunchtime.  What do you do with the rest of your time?”

“In the morning,” the fisherman explained, “I like to sleep late.  When I wake I fish a little, mostly just for the pleasure of fishing.  In the afternoon I play with my children and take siesta with my wife.  In the evenings I have dinner with my family.  And then, when my children are sleeping, I stroll into the village, where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends.”

The American scoffed and said, “I’m a Harvard MBA and I can help you.” 

The fisherman was a little skeptical, but nonetheless he obliged and asked, “How?”

“You should fish longer every day,” the American counseled, “late into the afternoon.  This way you will catch more fish and make more money, and you can buy a bigger boat.  With the bigger boat you will catch even more fish, make even more money, and then you can buy another boat and hire another man to work the second boat.”

“But what then?” the fisherman inquired.

“Oh, we are just getting started! With two boats you’ll catch even more fish and make even more money, and before you know it, you’ll have a whole fleet of boats and every man in the village looking for work will come to you.”

“But what then?” the fisherman asked.

“Before too long, you can cut out the middleman, sell your fish direct to the cannery, and make more money.  As your fleet of boats continues to expand, you can build your own cannery.  And before you know it, you’ll be able to leave this small coastal village, move to Mexico City, and manage your expanding enterprise.”

“But what then?” the fisherman asked.

“Before too long, you can cut out the middleman, sell your fish direct to the cannery, and make more money. As your fleet of boats continues to expand, you can build your own cannery. And before you know it, you’ll be able to leave this small coastal village, move to Mexico City, and manage your expanding enterprise.”

“But what then?” the fisherman persisted.

“Well then, you can begin to ship your fish to different parts of the world. Down into Asia and Australia and up into North America. And as demand grows for your fish, you can leave Mexico City, move to Los Angeles, open a distribution plant there, and begin to ship your fish to Europe and every corner of the globe.”

“But what then?” the fisherman asked again.

The American continued, “By then your business will be one of the great ventures of the industry. You can move to New York City and manage your empire from the epicenter of the business world.”

“How long will all this take?” the fisherman asked.

“Twenty-five, maybe thirty years,” the banker explained.

“But what will I do then?” the fisherman asked.

The American’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “That’s the best part,” he said. “When the time is just right, you can go down to Wall Street, list your business as a public company, offer an IPO, and make millions and millions of dollars.”

“Millions?” the fisherman asked.

“More money than you ever dreamed you could earn in ten lifetimes,” the American explained.

“But what then?” the fisherman asked.

The American did not know what to say. He had reached his climax. He was stumped. But then a thought crossed his mind and triggered an idea, and he turned once more to the fisherman and spoke.

“Well then, you could move to a small coastal village. . . . You could sleep late. . . . You could fish just for the pleasure of fishing. . . . In the afternoons, you could take siesta with your wife. . . . In the evenings, you could have dinner with your family . . . and then you could stroll into the village and sip wine and play guitar and sing songs with your friends. . . .”

Source | Matthew Kelly, Off Balance
(Hudson Street Press, 2011)

CONSIDER THIS

Who do you identify most with, the fisherman or the investment banker?

CONVERSATION

Joe is walking down a darkened alley, when suddenly a man jumps out, brandishing a pistol.

“Don’t shoot,” Joe pleads, “I’ll give you all my money.”

“I don’t want your money,” says the man with the gun. “My whole life I’ve been trying to get someone to sit down and talk with me. Now I’m going to make you listen for one hour.”

Source | www.aish.com

CONSIDER THIS

God Speaks to us all a little differently, hoping we’ll tell each other. | John Stewart

With all the “smart” technology we own and run around with,  it seems that people today are busier than ever, with hardly any time left for honest conversation.  Are you listening to their unique part of the story?  Are you telling your unique part of the story?


THE PRECIOUSNESS OF LIFE

Thornton Wilder‘s play Our Town, was written about events that occurred in the very early years of the 20th century in a small town called Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. The main character of the story is named Emily. The story deals with the preciousness of time and the gift of life, the meaning of which we often miss.

Emily dies, and in a conversation she has with the saints departed, she asks to go back to Grover’s Corner for one day. She chooses her twelfth birthday.

She goes back and watches what happens in the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, and outside the house. She notices that people, even the people in her immediate family, don’t seem to notice one another. They go about their busy lives preoccupied. She finally cries out, as if her mother might hear her, “Oh, Mama, Mama, just look at me, look at me for a minute, as though you really see me, just for a moment now, while we’re all together. Mama, let’s be happy. Let’s look at one another and really see each other.” But their life goes on, preoccupied and fleeting.

Emily turns to the stage manager, the character off to the side, who plays a very important role, and she says, “Life goes so fast. We don’t even have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize this while I was living. We never noticed.”

At the end, almost broken-hearted, she asks to be taken back to heaven.

As she’s just about to leave, she looks back, over her shoulder, and she says, “Goodbye world, good-bye Grover’s Corner, good-bye Mama and Papa, good-bye good taste of coffee, good-bye new ironed dresses and clocks ticking and hot baths, good-bye sleeping and waking. Oh life, oh life, you’re too wonderful. Why don’t we realize?” She then turns to the stage manager and says, “Does anybody do it? Does anybody really notice?” The stage manager answers, “Some do, poets, saints, artists, but very few.”

Source | Thornton WilderOur Town

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Many go through life stuck in a rut, numbed and hypnotized by boredom, distracted, preoccupied, anxious and worried about too many things. Let the poet, the saint, and the artist in you to awake and see, awake and notice, awake and really pay attention.

THE MAN WHO SWALLOWED AN EGG WHOLE

Once upon a time a man swallowed an egg whole. He was afraid to move because he was afraid the egg would break. But he was equally afraid to sit still because he was afraid it would hatch.

Source | Adrian Rogers, Ten Secrets for a Successful Family, Crossway Books, p. 71.

PONDER AND CONSIDER

In this day when we are supposed to have so many devices to save time, I’ve never seen so many hurried and restless people! If the computer, the laptop, the cellular phone, and all of these other technological wonders are supposed to save us time, why do we have so little time for the things that  really matter?

Are you perhaps in that place where you are afraid to move and afraid to sit still, allowing yourself to be paralyzed in the process?

 

A TALKING FROG IS COOL

One day, a young man was walking down a road when a frog called to him, “Hey, if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess.”

He picked up the frog, smiled at it, then placed the frog into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Hey, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, and I will stay with you for a week.”

The young man took the frog from his pocket, smiled at it, then put it back into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Hey, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will do anything you want!”

The young man took the frog from his pocket, smiled, and put it back. Finally, the frog cried, “Hey, what is the matter, I have told you that I am a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I will stay with you and do anything you want!”

The young man took the frog from his pocket and said, “Look, I am an engineering student, I have no time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool!”

PONDER

  • Are you perhaps too busy for a real commitment?
  • Are you merely satisfied with superficial excitement?