Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Count the Cost.... BEFORE....Not After

Sure you want a puppy. After all, it is so soft and cuddly and cute. It is fun to watch it chase balls across the floor. And who does not laugh when it chases it tail around and around until it gets dizzy?! But wait. What…what is that the puppy is doing now? NOOOOOooooo, not squatting on the floor. Aw mannn. Human reaction is not fast enough to thwart the bodily functions of this puppy. Now, a damp spot in the carpet and a little pile of pooh of which needs disposing await human reaction. Finally, it is bed time and so the little pup is placed in its bed. It peers from the blanket with huge eyes of wonderment as to what is going to happen now. The human body longs for its own bed and its feet turn from the puppy to head to the bedroom, but the tickety-tick of little puppy nails on the floor indicate that the puppy has learned how to follow. Placing it back in its bed followed by sharp admonitions to stay should do the trick. Ahhh but the puppy has a few tricks up its fur. What is it now? Yelp yelp yelp yelp. Whimper. Whine. It is lonely. This is its first night away from its own family. The night is a sleepless night for all in the house. Eyes blurred by the lack of sleep miss the nights gift of a wet spot in the hallway floor. The kitchen has its own gift awaiting as the puppy rounds the corner. It really was cute when it was picked out of the litter. In fact, it was the cutest of all the little pups. Having a puppy does not seem to be the brightest of choices now. What happened?

Somebody forgot to ponder, for even a moment, the care and upkeep associated with the puppy. Counting the cost was exchanged for consideration of cuteness. Temporary desire overruled life-long devotion. Commitment to a person, project or pet is just that. A commitment. Rather than failing to live up to those commitments, a person should avoid them altogether. If you cannot be faithful, do not marry. If you cannot finish the project, do not start it. If you cannot take care of the pet, do not take it home.

Many things seem like a good idea at the time. In fact, when I fail at something now and somebody asks why I did what I did, I try to make it a habit to say that, “it seemed like a good idea at the moment.” But what I do not like is when something turns out one way other than what was expected and the reason that it was not expected is that the cost was not counted and then you begin to hear complaining. In fact, you will even hear, “I did not count on this happening.” Well, simply put, you should have put more counting into your plans. Hear the words of Jesus.

Luke 14:28-32

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have to finish? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is ye a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

While the application Jesus makes is specifically to the cost of discipleship, the truth that Jesus puts forth is applicable to all of life.

Count the cost BEFORE you begin so that you may finish well.


selahV said...

Intentions are like good ideas gone awry. Even the best of them aren't worth a plug nickel if the end result does not meet God's standards of excellence. I've had to rewrite some posts and rethink some thoughts worthy of another's delight at times. Great thinking. selahV

Luke said...

Mrs. V,
If I only had a nickel for every time I should have hit delete instead of publish.