…by Randy Parish
We heard about counting the cost on Sunday. In today’s instant gratification world, how often do we really do that? How many car dealers are willing to roll that existing loan for the old beater that no longer runs onto a new loan for a newer beater that won’t outlive the loan? How many $20 dinners are rolled onto a credit card that we are already making monthly payments on and now the $20 turns into $80 because it takes us 48 months to pay off the credit card, if we do ever pay it off? We wouldn’t have paid $80 for a burger and fries if we looked at the total cost when we ordered it. We don’t step back and see what the real costs are.
You may be familiar with the story of the rich young ruler in Mark 10. The young man asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor.”
Verse 22 tells us, “At this, the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth.” Now we don’t know what happened to the man, but in that moment, he weighed the cost and walked away because it was too high a price to pay.
Last spring, I had the opportunity, after many years in the business world, to take my dream job in a dream location. It was something you work a long time for and make a lot of sacrifices to be able to do. I could manage 8 offices for a company spread out over 4 states. Then it occurred to me, why? I had to step back and really look at what I would “gain”. The cost was too high. The additional responsibilities, travel, and stress were too high a price to pay to “live the dream”. I turned it down.
In Luke 14:28-30 Jesus talks about building a tower and asks, “Wouldn’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you can finish”? It’s like the decision to become a Christ follower. We can lay the foundation to start the process, but did we figure the cost? Will we be able to make the change in our lives? Will we be able to finish, or will we abandon our “tower” and go back to our old ways because we think the cost is too high?