My professor shared in class a few days ago that having a business is the way to go. Unlike being employed where your work stops at age 65, having a business allows you to leave a legacy. She used Aling Nene's Eatery as an example. Aling Nene's Eatery is a well-known cafeteria that has made its name in nearby schools. This small eatery is flocked by students and faculty members daily. It has become part of their schedule or daily routine. If asked who created it, they could answer you with certainty that it was Aling Nene. My professor then concluded, even with humble means, this lady named Aling Nene was able to make a name and provide a secured future for the next generation.
I think this story was meant to inspire us, budding entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to inspire me that much. It somehow brought to mind misaligned priorities and temporal mindsets. (Please read on with an open mind and if you wish to clarify, feel free to do so.)
Misaligned Priorities~ I know of so many businessmen (many times including myself) who are caught up in the whirlwind of the business life. Instead of providing the much needed affection and proper teachings, their packed schedule only allows only one type of support - financial support. Aling Nene's Eatery for example would most likely entail her to work early in the morning until late in the evening. Knowing that most SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) require hands-on management of owners. How then can she mold her children? Lead them to Christ? Teach them what's right? Be part of their lives?
~ It is not common for businessmen to just slow down (unless business is hit by recession). Many times they think of expanding, growing and making more money. "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income" (Ecc 8:10). Making (more) money is usually a hidden and primary purpose that is overshadowed by the marketed company mission/vision.
Money, as you know, in itself is not bad. It makes the transactions in the world orderly (it's a lot easier than barter trading!) And yet God knows the power of money. As little as a quarter of a bond paper, this can entice sinners and excite souls. He knows that it can take His place in the hearts of mankind. "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" (Luke 16:13).
I'm not saying that it's time to drop your biz and go home. Each of us may have different callings in life, yet all of us have the same purpose of glorifying God. Some of us may glorify God the most through business. Business can become a means to glorify our ultimate boss which is God Himself, bring others to praise Him and enjoy Him forever.
Mindset 1: Having our own business is the highest achievement in the world.
Fact: Wealth hoarded cannot be consumed once we enter the grave. From Ecclesiastes, you'd read that work that is done under the sun is like chasing after the wind, for we must leave the things that we toiled for to the ones who come after us (whether they'll be wise men or fools). We must leave all our hard-earned business to someone who has not worked for it.
Another Fact: "Seeing His face" from Psalm 17: 15 is a very very valuable goal. To see God's face is to see and know him personally, deeply and without the clouds of mystery. To see God's face would satisfy any needs or wants with abundant joy, peace, love, and hope.
Mindset 2: We are our own bosses. We can plan and make a business anytime we want to.
Fact: Only the Lord's will will prevail. I don't want to sound like a recorder here, but He is still the ultimate boss. "Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (James 4:13-15).
Mindset 3: Business is the best legacy.
Fact: It can only be a MEANS to a great legacy. God places us in various mission fields. Some can be missionaries in Africa, teachers in a local highschool or businessmen in the CBD area. All of us have equal chances of making a great legacy.
The Greatest Legacy
Don't get me wrong, having a business can indeed be a very practical, useful, & helpful legacy. Many businesses provide solutions to social, environmental problems. They are the fruit of man accomplishing God's call of managing the earth.
However, this type of legacy is but temporary. It pales in comparison to a legacy that can make an impact for eternity. Our 80 years on earth is but a dot to the gazillion of years in eternity. So, what legacy would you like to leave? :)