The Parable of Prosperous Pursuits

 By Stephen Shives


There was a boy who grew up in a home where it was taught that anything he dreamed of being and doing was possible. At a very young age, he began to pursue a life of prosperity. As time passed, he experienced great success in his many endeavors, and became very generous in sharing the abundance that came his way.


After many years, the now grown man, began to compare his success to the achievements of others, and found himself becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his own. He became so consumed with appearing successful, that he could not imagine ever having to admit failure. So, to compensate for his self discovered inadequacy, he resolved to make a bigger mark.


Many sleepless nights were spent considering how he could accomplish bigger, more significant things than ever before. To facilitate his much grander plans; and maintain his successful appearance, he borrowed vast sums of money from those who had recognized his previous accomplishments. And whenever the feeling of significance faded, he would resort to his ever growing mountain of indebtedness, believing that everything would be OK as soon as his next big idea took off.


Soon his life became consumed by his many obligations. He had no spare time enjoy with his family and friends; nor to teach his children what he had been taught about prosperity. His days became longer, yet he accomplished much less than ever before. His nights were spent worrying how he might make the next day more productive, for he had numerous debts now to pay.


Inevitably, the day came when the man owed much more than he owned. So much more that the interest alone was more than he could ever repay. When he finally lost all that he had worked so hard to achieve, he discovered the prosperity he had spent his life pursuing, had been right in front of him all along.