Crickets. That’s what you hear when you’re sitting around a campfire late in the evening. Not the sound of Fox News or CNN. Not the firing of weapons from Call of Duty. Just the joyful song of crickets.
It’s also the description we give when there is absolutely no response to something… when people are quiet. Pastors talk about this often: “When I preached on ______________, it was crickets out there.”
I suspect the subject of living a quiet life with less is one of those cricket-inducing themes in the American church today.
The shouts and hanky-waving and “Amens!” are gonna come with statements like, “You’re a champion” or “You were born for more than this” or “Greater blessing is on its way.” These aren’t necessarily falsehoods. In fact, they’re probably true. They just don’t tell the whole story.
We need crickets too.
Here’s a cricket-inducing Scripture: “This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before.” —1 Thessalonians 4.11
Crickets, right? We know it’s good and true, but it just doesn’t make us want to shout “Amen!” (probably because the verse tells us to be quiet).
Maybe living a quiet life with less is worth considering…
Perhaps you’ve heard this story before – “The Mexican Fisherman.” I don’t know its original source, but it’s a great parable:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”