Thursday, February 15, 2007

Having it all, yet having nothing

A friend of mine is an accountant and consultant. He has done work for a famous man; now he only meets occasionally with this man directly but he works a lot with “his people.” We “average Joes” may consider certain celebrities and businessmen show offs when they have “their people.” By “their people” I mean personal assistants, security people, lawyers, and accountants, consultants of various types, gardeners, service help and the like.

After a business meeting, my friend had dinner with “Mr. Big’s” accountant and personal assistant. It is a world few people ever get to see, much less gain valuable insight into the workings of such a life style. The group travels on private jets and move around in private limos. Dinners are held in the finest places. The places where this man works-out are the best in the world. His yearly income is over $50 million dollars. Some of us would consider this type of lifestyle to be intriguing but is it?

The “employees” told my friend that they have to move on private jets since “Mr. Big’s” presence in a public airport would make such a ruckus. Dinners at the finest restaurants have to be private so no one could turn the place into an autograph-seeking circus. Movement from the hotel to the gym is done in tinted glass limos so no one can see inside. When this man moves, his whole staff moves and they are on call 24 hours a day. Security has to be cleared in almost every move. Security must be coordinated with local police; business meeting sites must be discrete less any rumor be started about a merger or whatever, being seen with certain influential people, having impact on stock prices. Busy, busy, busy.

As his accountant said, it can be intriguing, traveling all over the world, meeting other famous people, staying in the finest hotels, eating in the finest restaurants, etc. but he said sadly, “It’s all work, and it gets old very fast.” He has no wife, no children; he said he doesn’t even have a goldfish or a dog. Any relationship he has never lasts because of his “constantly–on-the-move lifestyle.” As he looks ahead he said, “When I get old, I’ll have a lot of money but when I get sick, no one will be there except the hired help.”

This is what he told my friend, “You wouldn’t want my life or Mr. Big’s life. We have everything the world has to offer at our finger tips but we’re lonely and cold inside.” The personal assistant said, “You can talk to very few people in confidence because you don’t know who you can trust, so all your relationships become cold and distant and shallow. You ask yourself, “Is he a true friend or is he just trying to get close to Mr. Big?

To us, sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence. But many times once we experience the other side; it’s not as green as we once thought.

What a sad life. In the eyes of the world you have everything; in reality you have nothing.

O, Lord Jesus, thank you for the simple life. Help me to appreciate my position in life. Take away my desire to have it all when in reality I have it all in you. Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 -- Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets. Remember him--before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 -- What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 -- Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandment, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.


Andrew D. Seehusen said...

For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity. Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?

For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
(Ecclesiastes 2:21-26)

Anonymous said...

I asked a man,who had risen to the top of the corporate world, "what is it like at the top?" He replied "There is nothing there."