I used to live by a restaurant that was in business over a year ago. It was built and ready for its grand opening with a sign posted up and for all to see. It looked nice and was definitely a different add to the area so I wanted to give it a try. A few months passed and I noticed it wasn’t like it used to be. It looked like it was closed longer than usual and it had less traffic. One day I noticed it wasn’t just closed, but closed down. The windows were boarded up and the parking lot was vacant. A while later they opened again, this time the expectation was that they’re here to stay. Much to my surprise it had a life span of only half the year. It was then when it came to me the words, “Count the cost”.
It resonated a lot with me about the things that we are called to start but aren’t ready to follow through with. Ministries, projects, programs, etc. Things that are needed by us and could not only affect us but those directly impacted by us as well but lo and behold, we just didn’t count the cost. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ -Luke 14:25-35
Many are like the restaurant. Started and didn’t quite see how business would be later on during the winter, or through hard times. They didn’t plan for the mundane times or times of the ‘in between’, therefore weren’t really ready to navigate it. I was reminded of this several times over the past year to count the cost. While sitting in a Sunday service or bible study I’m called higher and reminded to be set apart and to count the cost. When relaunching the blog ministry and all the projects, money and time that comes with it I had to count the cost. When volunteering and serving at church or different places in the community I committed to I’m reminded again, to count the cost.
I’m learning what is connected to my “yes” matters. Not just because of me, though that is important, but because of those connected to me. Those I have an impact on knowingly or unknowingly. People who watch from afar and are encouraged by your presence in their life whether it be by way of a coach, a pastor, a mentor, a favorite blogger, a friend, or family member that they relate too. My yes matters, and so does yours!
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1Timothy 4 15-16
To Be Honest…..
It would be times I didn’t want to finish projects. Times I told people “If you need anything just ask” and when they did I didn’t want to be reliable in that moment. However the fruit of that really made an impact on them. Its times I don’t want to be involved with anything and carry my load as a co-worker, a team mate, or a family member but when I show my support it sends a message that I care enough to be invested in this. It’s sometimes I want to go off on the very person I’m praying for but if I give in and do that, I could squander in a matter of seconds what I ask God to do.
These are normal every day examples. It matters how we see everyday life and how it is applicable to what we read in the Bible. Its times we’ll have to go lower and serve, come up higher in love and take responsibility for what’s in front of us. Its times we’ll NEED TO FINISH WHAT WE START! Some need to finish things so it will encourage others to move on what they're called to start, be, etc. It does not feel good all the time and it’s not always easy, but if you don’t give up, you win!