If the world of small business is a sea, then I have spent this entire month piloting two ships. The company I have worked for all these years is ending at the end of this month, and my solo web development consulting firm is becoming my primary business focus. The old crew, including the skipper, have all abandoned the old boat, and so I have been battening down the hatches and towing it to port with my consultancy. The customers that have been with me for all these years are getting my new web services agreement and, as of the first of June, I will leave the old ship at port.
Then I sail into the seas in my new flagship. I carry passengers, but I am the only crew member. Exciting, a momentous blessing and long overdue passage, and a scary thing all at once.
I apologize to my regular readers, but I haven’t had much opportunity of late to bring this little skiff out and fish. We will meet here in the dawn more often, after I have made my delivery.
As I reach out to those I have served and make new friends of old acquaintances, I have been struck by how my old economy conflicts with my new economy. I had thought, at times, that I had left behind questions of greed, insufficiency, and fear of failure as a provider. Clearly not so, as I negotiate new rates with people, for while I have the deepest faith that God will provide… it has been a struggle to keep my eyes upturned. It has been a struggle to meet the concerns of those who wish to work only in the lower economy of money and possession. I do not, of course, wish to make the first voyage of my new flagship a pirate tour – I want to sail only in the economy of Love.
In the economy of Love, where giving and helping people comes first and invoicing comes as the afterthought. Where in giving, we receive. Where in providing for others, I am enabled to provide for those who ride in my vessel.
In the struggle, we can see our dual manifestation. Many of us are creatures of both economies, for fear binds us to that lower mental space where insufficiency and fear of failure water the weeds of clinging and greed. When we work without regard to cost and profit, when we seek purely to help and give, the fear leaves us for a time. But it returns, for our faith flickers as the chill night winds blow. We seek assurances with dotted lines signed and bank account balances above the mark of high tide.
As I spy the port where I will leave the old ship, I remember to abandon the seeking of such assurances. In the economy of Love, perhaps our ideals and desires for the material world will not be met. Faith does not assure material success, no matter what the sermonizing vendors of books and CDs place as the tagline of their offer of the day. And that’s just fine, because the Beloved provides for us in ways beyond the mere mortal considerations – if only we will drink of the grace.
Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Let us remember to put away our swords, dear hearts. Let us remember that we pay in Love without looking for reward, for our outbound payments of Love are themselves the reward. Bravely, with wounded hearts and compassion crying out in our souls, let us sail forth. Sometimes mere deck hands, sometimes skippers, but never, ever alone.