One of my favorite things to do to relax a little is to watch the World Surf League. Surfing is a sport I have grown up with and as a child I wanted to be a pro surfer myself. Both my sons are very keen surfers and we spend quite a bit of time down at the beach. I always make sure that I get in the water with them too so I get some ‘liquid therapy’ of my own.
As I was watching the surfing live from Portugal yesterday, one of the pro’s being interviewed wanted to send a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to his dad. As they cut back to the commentators one of the Australian callers said, “And I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to my six year-old son, who I unfortunately cannot be with today.”
As they quickly got back to calling the surfing I said to my wife, “I’ve never stopped to think about the fact the commentators are also away from their families for so much of the year.” And it’s true. I know the price the surfers are paying, but all of the support staff have to travel all over the world, leaving their loved ones behind.
I then said to her, “I am not sure I could be a speaker or someone who is constantly on the road. I just cannot be away from my family for extended periods of time.”
And with that I began to think about our lives and the price we pay for our success. That commentator has the dream job, one hundreds of others would clamor to get. But so often we cry out to God for a dream or desire that we haven’t actually counted the cost for.
The pastor fasting and praying for church growth may not have counted the cost of the bigger facility he will have to lease, the larger staff number he might be responsible for to cope with the extra attendees and the infrastructure that goes with it, and thus the higher stress that will be on his life.
Likewise in business. Growth comes with higher costs – and risks. Again more staff, more office space, more stores or stock in the warehouse that can keep you awake at night with worry. The bigger the business gets, the harder it is to run, and the more that is on the line. Even personal growth in career of monetary gain comes with a price tag. It could be a more stressful job, or more complicated tax returns because of the extra money that now has to be accounted for.
It’s so easy to want more, but have you thought about the personal cost? It’s also easy to be envious of other people and what they have, or what they have achieved, without understanding the price they have paid, or the sacrifices they have made to achieve this.
The Bible says in Luke 14: 28 to ‘count the cost’. It’s so easy to want something, without first checking the price tag. And I have found that most things that are worthwhile have a high price, and so come at a cost.
So I say go for it in living a bigger life, but just remember to count the cost of that dream or desire that you’re desperate for God to help you break in to.