We usually ask that question when we are trying to decide to spend. It could be our money, but it also could mean our time, our energy, our focus, our talents – usually some combination of these.
Ken Chafin, long-time Baptist pastor, professor, and writer, taught at Southern Seminary when I was a student in the mid-70’s. One of the most influential conversations I had with a mentor took place in his office one day. His wisdom was much appreciated by a young minister trying to figure out what it would cost to follow God’s call.
Chafin was asked to write a book for a family renewal emphasis. In the book, (entitled “Is There a Family in the House?”), he told a number of stories about his own family. One really stood out to me.
Busy with his pastoral duties and teaching responsibilities, nights at home were rare. He had made a promise to his daughter that they would do something special together. He was going to take her to dinner and a movie. Just as he was headed home, he was notified about an important meeting he needed to attend. His plans with his daughter quickly moved off his radar.
When he got home that night, his daughter was waiting. When he saw her as he drove up, he remembered their date. The disappointment on her face crushed him. Her tears were soon joined by his own. He wrapped her in his arms and asked for her forgiveness.
Then he made a pledge. “Honey, I want you to make a list of ten things we can do together. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to start down that list. When I get home from work tomorrow, you have that list ready.”
When Chafin got home early the next afternoon, he found the list taped to the front door. He pulled it off and began to read. As he read each item, he noticed something. Not one of the items required any money. She didn’t want him to spend money on her; she wanted to spend time with him. She wanted her daddy to herself.
He told me that story in his office that day forty years ago. He wanted me to heed a lesson he learned the hard way.
What’s the cost?
- What’s your relationship with God worth?
- How about the relationships in your home, office, school, church, and neighbors?
When the final accounting takes place, what will our balance sheet look like … the one that really matters?
Speaking of costs: This Friday, June 6, marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. We are losing WWII veterans quickly – more than a thousand each day. They were willing to pay the cost.