Pastor’s Corner

Pastor Jim Mann

In Luke 12 Jesus tells a story of a farmer who had a great harvest, built large barns to store it and planned to sit back and enjoy life. He died before he had the chance. The story ends with this warning, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21, NIV)

Jesus wasn’t bad-mouthing planning ahead or saving for the future. He wasn’t decrying the idea of retirement. His point was simply that this farmer’s priorities were out of whack; God was nowhere in his thinking or planning.

May I be so bold as to give you some advice to begin the new year? As 2016 rolls out, sit down and give some thought to your priorities. What’s at the top of your list? Spouse? Grandkids? Does God make the top five? Would you classify yourself as “rich toward God?”

Thinking about priorities reminds me of the story of an American businessman who vacationed in a small coastal village in Mexico. He met a fisherman at the dock, tying up his small boat and bringing in his catch of yellow-fin tuna.

“How long did it take you to catch those fish?” the American asked. “Not very long, Señor.” “If you fished longer, perhaps you could have caught more,” suggested the businessman.

But the fisherman explained he had just enough to sell and support his family. “Then what do you do with the rest of your time?” asked the American.

“Well, I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll in the village each evening to sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed: “Listen, sir. I have an MBA and I can help you. Fish longer, save the extra money, buy another boat and then another. Cut out the middleman and sell straight to the distributer. Get your own refrigerated trucks and sell all over the country. You have the potential of a very large business enterprise!”

“How long with this take, Señor?”

“If you work hard and save your money, 10-15 years…then you can sell your business to an even bigger company and you’ll be set!”

“And then what shall I do?”

The American smiled, “Well, my friend, then you retire. Move to a small coastal village on the Gulf, sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandchildren, take siestas with your wife, stroll in the village each evening to sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

May 2016 be a year of joy and fulfillment for you. And as you enjoy the fruits of your labor, make sure you are also “rich toward God.” I’ll see you in church.

Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website: www. for more information.