In business we have a saying: “Sell to the masses and live with the classes. Sell to the classes and live with the masses.”
For the most part, that saying holds true. Generally speaking (and there are always exceptions) high income earners can demand and expect perfection. Or they might haggle you down to near nothing in a deal…there’s a reason some of the ‘rich’ folks got where they are, and it is spelled s-h-r-e-w-d. As I said, though, there are exceptions. I also know some modern day Abraham and Sarah couples who have a great deal of means, holdings, and influence and use them to bless entire communities around them, as well as generations to come in their own families. And while I don’t know any personally, I do believe there are modern day Joseph’s who have the ears, and access to the purse strings, of world leaders. They have means and positions of power because God wanted them in such spots, in order to bring glory to Him.
Anyway, point being: if you want to invent or sell something that makes you wealthy, you are better off doing that with products that appeal to the masses, not the one percent of the highest income earners.
It gets a little stickier, though, when you start to consider gifting and callings in life, beyond sales-based business pursuits.
Consider Proverbs 22:29 Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.
Solid truth is far more nuanced than a catchphrase that speaks to worldly desires and gains. Which is why I love the Bible. It’s full of concise statements that work on t-shirts and coffee mugs. Yet within those wise phrases are nuances you could chew on for days. Particularly The Book of Proverbs. Which was part of my Bible reading plan this past week. A bit like what happened while I was reading Psalms this summer and I started noticing how much real world songs affect me…while reading proverbs I took greater note of how many wise things the people in my life say; some of them without even trying to be wise!
One saying that I liked and have repeated is something my secular therapist told me during a session, several years back now. I was lamenting some of the things I inadvertently passed on to my children, as a result of me not dealing with my childhood abuse sooner than I did. She bluntly told me, “That cake is baked.” And then she redirected me to working on myself.
It’s a catchy saying. There is a lot of wisdom in it. Sometimes you just have to move on from past mistakes and not spin them around so much in your head.
Yet the entire premise of Christianity shows that it is never too late to turn around. You may have to pay some consequences of past actions, but there is always hope for restoration nonetheless.
It was my Christian therapist, whom I started seeing later, who listened to my grief and worry that I had ‘messed up my kids’. She assured me that there is plenty I can do now, to strengthen and repair, some of the brokenness in those relationships.
My parents, and family of origin, baked me a cake that would not have won any blue ribbons at the State Fair (metaphorically speaking)…but I am decorating it to the best of my ability.
The thing is, though, as long as I have breath in me, I am honing my skills and serving my King. Therefore I can pour new batter into my grown children every time I speak with them, apologize to them, encourage them, and, ultimately, let them live their life and make their own choices and bake their own cakes.
So I actually don’t believe the ‘cake is baked’ when it comes to being a mother. I think that oven will be on and the cake tester will come out sticky, and not quite finished, until the day I die. And I thank God for that.