Monday, February 16, 2015

Count the Cost

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Luke 14:28 (ESV)

All too often I find myself at the end of my day wondering "What in the world happened to it? Where did it go? Man that went by fast!"

An example of this was displayed last night. My son spent most of Saturday evening and then that night with a good friend. Since he stayed up ridiculously late with his little buddy, he came home and decided to sleep the afternoon away to catch up on some much needed shut-eye. 

By Sunday evening when I told him it was time for bed and to go take a shower, tears filled his eyes. He looked at me and said "Mom where did the weekend go? It's already over?" I didn't understand why he was upset as I relayed all the fun he was able to have when he went over to his friend's house. But I found out that he was upset because he wasn't able to squeeze in not only quality time with his best friend but with us- my husband, his brother and I. He also didn't like the fact that he missed going to church that Sunday morning, even though he knew the sleepover would cut into that time.

I was flattered that he didn't think he had a good weekend because he missed his family, but I was also confused as to why he was really upset in the first place. He was thrilled to go to his friend's house and came home with some exciting adventures to tell us that even included searching for treasure in a field with a metal detector. (Sounds like a little boy's fun activity, right?)

Unfortunately, he couldn't do it all. Neither can we. When we make a decision in our personal lives we must first count the cost. We need to ask ourselves, If I say yes to this, what no's will it mean? When we commit ourselves to a project or a job or whatever situation might come up, then something else gets sacrificed. 

An incredible book I read last year, called The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst really drilled home this point. The author encouraged me to look at any of life's decisions, whether big or small, not just as good and bad. She offered the perspective of looking at the choice as which one is good and which one is better. 

When we make a decision to commit our time, money or effort to something we should first analyze the tradeoff. Will the benefit outweigh the risk? Will the yes to this answer mean a no to something else down the road? If I oblige this person now, will I be happy I did later? 

I remember as a middle school student being so bogged down with homework, there were times it would be 9pm, before I was finished. I would take my shower and get ready for bed and do the exact same thing my son does now. I would tear up and look at my mom and say, "I didn't even get to have any fun, mom! I don't want to go to bed yet!" So she would let me stay up for another 30 minutes or so and watch reruns of I Love Lucy

But sometimes in life we don't get that extra time or those extra priveleges. We look back at our lives and say, I wish I spent more time with my kids, or If I had only attempted to go back to college, maybe it is, If I had only worked harder on marriage...

Life is too short to live it with regrets and wishful thinking. God never intended for us to rush through life either. Life is meant to be cherished... a gift! Marriage, kids, family, close friends, a good job...if you have these, count yourself blessed! So many people don't. These are not rights either, more of a life bonus God sends our way. So don't allow your blessings in life to become burdens. Take each one of these for what it truly is and what it means to you. Slow down and relish each one! Prioritize your time in a way that what really matters gets the most of you and the best of you. 

Count the cost and if it is too high spiritually, emotionally or mentally even, walk away.

Enjoy this really fun and catchy tune from Hawk Nelson.
"If you got a lot or alot of nothing
Go ahead and thank God for something!"

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