A woman comes out of her home one day to find three old and bearded men sitting in her front yard. Since they all looked so kind and since she was the hospitable type, she invited them in for a meal.
One of the men replied, "We don't go into a house together."
"Why is that?" she asked.
One of the old men explained: "My friend on my right is Wealth, and my friend on my left is Success, and I am Love. Only one of us can come in."
A bit perplexed, the woman went back into the house to tell her husband about the strangers. After explaining that only one could come in and discussing the choice with him, the woman walked back out and invited in the stranger named Love.
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two got up and followed him. Surprised, the woman asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love. Why are you coming in?"
The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success in, then the other two of us would have stayed out. But since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him."
This story was sent to me by e-mail a few months ago by some friends who knew I had my priorities out of whack. They saw what it was doing to me and, more importantly, my family.
I thank God for friends like that.
Have you ever poured your time, energy and focus into something that seems tremendously important at the time only to discover that you've been chasing the wind?
I think we all have.
This misalignment of priorities gets a lot of reinforcement from our culture. Magazines name the top 100 wealthiest people in America. Another very popular magazine is called, simply, Success.
Have you ever seen a feature in a magazine called "The 100 Best Marriages in America"? Or how about "Secrets of Success from the 10 Best Parents"?
Success and wealth are pursued and celebrated, but relationships are squeezed in when and if there is time.
In no way am I saying the responsibility lies with our culture. Although our culture does have influence, the responsibility is still ours.
Whether we pursue Wealth, Success or Love is up to us. It's our choice. It's our choice where we devote our time, energy and focus.
According to the story, if you pursue Wealth, Success and Love can't come in.
Pursue Success, and Wealth and Love can't come in.
But pursue Love, and Wealth and Success can follow.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me.