Rich or Poor

Rich or Poor

I remember meeting many interesting individuals in my years as an electrician.  One gentleman I knew owned a delicatessen across the street from the Post Office in Havre, Montana.  He attracted a great many customers because of his food.

His commercial advantage was due to the fact that he owned several feed lots around the town and could fatten up his meat stock before butchering it for his own deli.  He also had some large ovens for making his own pastries.

I was frequently called down to the deli for maintenance work and to add wiring for additional appliances.

The deli had a high ceiling and frequently I would work over the heads of the staff.  One day I was working on a light fixture on the high ceiling.  The fixture was about 4 feet long and had some of the early fluorescent light tubes as bulbs.  The tube in this particular fixture was almost 2 inches in diameter.

Below me was one of the deli employees, a young girl, either putting something into, or taking something out of, one of the ovens.  At that point I accidentally dropped the fluorescent bulb I was working with.  It landed flat on the floor, right beside the young lady, … and exploded.

The sound was akin to a bomb going off.

The young lady moved like she had been shot.  I’m amazed she didn’t have a heart attack or faint.  Today something like that would get you sued.  As she took time to recover I apologized profusely while I cleaned up the mess.

Some time later I noticed that the deli was no longer in business.  I was worried that I might have been responsible in some way.

After time had passed I was sent to do wiring on a house in the midst of a remodel.  When I arrived I saw that it was owned by the man that had operated the deli.  The carpenter on the job was talking to the home owner and we found out that the home owner, who had owned the deli, had inherited a large fortune.  He had sold his deli and feed lots and retired.

The carpenter inquired of him how it felt to have all the money you want.  The reply from the home owner was that; “It had taken all of the fun out of life.”

He told us that before, when he had wanted to buy something, he saved in anticipation of the purchase.  Then when he finally had the money, he would go buy it.  Now when he wanted something he just went and bought it.

As he put it, it was ‘like buying a box of rocks.”

I thought to myself “how observant.”  The Bible tells us “Untruth and the lying word put far away from me.  Give me neither poverty nor riches.  Let me devour the food prescribed for me, that I man not become satisfied and actually deny you and say ‘Who is Jehovah?’ and that I may not come to poverty and I actually steal and assail the name of my God.” – Prov. 30:8

When I started my own company, that scripture was posted on a wall in our office.