Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I guess I hiked up one too many steep hills. With no warning, my knee gave out and here I am with a pair of crutches as my sole companion. We’re practically joined at the hip. I’ve decided ya gotta either love ‘em or hate ‘em, depending upon the moment. I thank God for the person who invented them. Now I await my next step (pardon the pun) in this new saga of senior body blues.


Counting the Cost

As a young woman, my great-aunt became engaged to marry. When her mother died, she broke her engagement so she could raise her younger siblings. That’s what the eldest child did back in the 1800s and early 1900s. She did an exemplary job, making sure the other six children received good schooling all the way through college. I often wonder what emotions she felt during those years of self-sacrifice.

There is a cost for everything. Many people today pay dearly for their bad habits, such as using drugs, overeating, or overspending. Even caregivers pay a price, whether physical, emotional, or financial.

The Bible speaks much about cost—in particular, the cost involved in following Christ. One day as Jesus and His disciples journeyed on the road, someone said, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:57-59)

For the sake of His Father’s will, Jesus chose to be homeless. He knew that at God’s perfect time, He would once again reside at the right hand of God. His desire to live without the security of a house shows us how transient our life on earth is and how permanent our eternal home will be. Jesus’ example is meant to teach us the value of following Him first and foremost.

Jesus taught more about values in verses 58 and 59. When a man told Jesus he must first go and bury his father, he really said he would follow Him tomorrow after he received his family inheritance. Still another man said he must first say goodbye to the family.

Jesus answered, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” (verse 60) And, “No one having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (verse 62)

Perhaps we should ask ourselves: are we willing to count the cost of following Jesus’ teachings ... willing to forego our earthly inheritance? Are we willing to keep ourselves focused on God’s kingdom? Or do we keep turning back to the What If, the If Only, the hurts of the past? Placing our value on anything but Christ is worthless in the eternal perspective of things.

Lord, help us remember that the cost of following You is far more valuable than anything else in this world. You are our joy and peace, our strength and hope. Amen.

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