Count the Cost

31 08 2011

My mom used to give us a nickel before we went in. There was a little five and dime store near our house with bins and bins of penny candy. (Yes, I know I am dating myself.) Holding our five cents tightly, we dreamed of filling our pockets with delicious treats.

Taking us to the candy aisle, Mom would stand back and let us make our selections. I don’t really remember how quickly my brother and sister made their choices. I do remember standing in front of those penny candy bins agonizing over what I would choose for my sweet tooth. If I chose the hard candy, I had to give up the taffy. If I went for the gum ball, then the chocolate chew was out. And a jawbreaker, which would last hours and hours, required my entire five cents. I stood in the candy aisle at that store and learned to count the cost.

I learned another lesson in that aisle as well. Just once, I hesitated too long. I went back and forth, juggling the options, weighing the choices, imagining the flavors, and smelling the scents. I couldn’t decide. Then it was time to go. Mom called my name, telling me that I had had long enough. I left broken-hearted and empty-handed, yet wiser.

Sometimes the cost of doing nothing is greater than the cost of risking it all.

Sometimes I hesitate too long. I don’t invest my heart, and then it is too late. I hold on to a talent, and it dies on the vine. I miss seeing God in the moment because I let fear or worry close my eyes. I don’t say thank you, speak His name, or say “I love you,” and the opportunity passes.

I could have made a new friend, experienced a new joy, tried a new adventure, tasted a new flavor, discovered a new beauty, and seen a little more of God, but I hesitated and now it is too late. In the moment, I thought taking a step of faith would be too costly. What I need to remember is that doing nothing, risking nothing, refusing to take a step of faith has a cost as well.

My Jesus Resolution today is to count the cost of doing nothing. There will be a moment today when it will be easier to be quiet, more comfortable to let it pass, and more convenient not to bother. But what will it cost me to sit on the sidelines? It is stickier to have candy in your pocket than a nickel. But it is also more delicious.


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