After I left my well paying job to dive into the world of fly tying materials, I still had a pretty good nest egg built up to kick start the business. But, as time went by, and the egg dwindled, the reality of my income started to sink in. Since I served the fly fishing market, I felt it was pretty important to have "nice" fly fishing gear. Fancy stuff. I felt pretty important when I was waving around a fishing rod that was worth about half as much as the car I was driving at the time. But, when some really big and important financial demands came... the importance of those status symbols waned. Pretty soon, I realized it was just financially wreckless to be packing around fishing gear that was worth so much, and didn't do the job any better than the cheap stuff. In fact, the other day I couldn't wait to get a steelhead on the bank and kill it, since that represented two meals for our family. No longer was the fish a status symbol or plaything, it was a potential meal! But the real icing on the cake was an advertising pitch to me that said "fly fisherman on average make $XX,XXX per year, and have lots of expendable income to spend on YOUR products and services". Well, I no longer made that! My expendable income now went for things like shoes for children, special trips for ice cream with the kids, family days at the beach. You know.... things that actually matter.
So now that I had had this great realization, it got me thinking. It reminded me about a sermon I had heard years ago about "Building up my treasures in heaven". My flashy expensive status symbols have been replaced with things that matter. We've only got so much time on this planet, and I am finding that the time I spent focusing on material things, and money are now being focused on making a difference for others, my family, kids and spiritual life. I feel its time better spent.
So, even though I am no longer in the same financial bracket as my customers and friends, I can still serve them. Instead of competing for status, I can offer love, kindness and maybe a tasty steelhead meal every once and a while.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.