Not to Scale

Bigger is not always better. Be led, not driven. Consider your capacity.

I say these things to people in my life who want to grow a business, expand their influence, or get “to the next level.” Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’ve been resisting the cultural pressure to be more and do more ever since I published Seated with Christ. 

There’s often a counter-cultural and more biblical way to think about it.

Remember this: Seated people abide with Jesus to produce the fruit He has ordained for their lives–whether big or small. I think of the pressure around Jesus to be more and do more. He often resisted big crowds and kept His influence to a small group of people. It didn’t seem like a good business strategy. It didn’t seem like anything could go viral when He told people not to say anything about Him after He raises a little girl from the dead (Luke 8:56). It’s so odd how little attention Jesus desires.

Jesus was led and not driven.

Finally, my husband likes to remind me of the famous story written by Heinrich Böll, adapted and summarized here: 

“A smartly-dressed enterprising tourist is taking photographs when he notices a shabbily dressed local fisherman taking a nap in his fishing boat. The tourist is disappointed with the fisherman’s apparently lazy attitude towards his work, so he approaches the fisherman and asks him why he is lying around instead of catching fish. The fisherman explains that he went fishing in the morning, and the small catch would be sufficient for the next two days. The tourist tells him that if he goes out to catch fish multiple times a day, he would be able to buy a motor in less than a year, a second boat in less than two years, and so on. The tourist further explains that one day, the fisherman could even build a small cold storage plant, later a pickling factory, fly around in a helicopter, build a fish restaurant, and export lobster directly to Paris without a middleman.

The nonchalant fisherman asks, “Then what?”

The tourist enthusiastically continues, “Then, without a care in the world, you could sit here in the harbor, doze in the sun, and look at the glorious sea.”

“But I’m already doing that”, says the fisherman.

The enlightened tourist walks away pensively, with no trace of pity for the fisherman, only a little envy.

I like to remind myself of the point of the hustle. Sometimes, we begin to work so hard and chase a dream that’s already happening right now.

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