Count The Cost

I’m working on building a picnic table and benches for our patio, hopefully in time for some summer cookouts this year. I cobbled together ideas from the internet, put together a design, and picked out the wood.

The more I get into it, the more I realize how much work is involved. Measuring, cutting, sanding, chiseling a dozen pieces of wood to make them fit (thanks Codie). Then more sanding, screwing, staining, and probably some more cutting to fix mistakes I made along the way.

“Measure once, cut twice!” I always say…

I’m reminded of the parable in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus teaches about the cost of following him.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

-Luke 14:28-30

Looking at you, $1.6 billion dollar Mercedes-Benz Stadium and your original March 2017 opening date

But I’d be doing this passage a disservice if I did not mention the message that drives Jesus’ analogy above. For it is much more costly than building a table or sports stadium.

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.’

-Luke 14:25-27

This was hard for the crowds to hear and many turned away. It’s hard for us to hear today. But it’s worth, as Jim Collins puts it, confronting the brutal facts.

Whether building a table, following Jesus, or anything in between, it’s worth taking the time to say, “This is what will be required of me, is it worth it?”

 

Extra Credit.