In 1992 when we purchased our first house we naively thought we would be able to renovate the 100-year-old Victorian fixer upper and build a two car garage with the $20,000 we had saved. To us $20,000 was a small fortune and we had scrimped and saved for years to put it together.
Needless to say our eyes were quickly opened as we began to understand the real cost of renovation. It took us fourteen years and a lot more scrimping and saving to restore that house to its former glory, but it was satisfying to see it come together slowly – very slowly at times.
Through it all my motto came to be, “It will cost twice as much and take twice as long.” When I went into a project with that in mind I usually was quite accurate and I became less frustrated when things didn’t go as planned.
Ten years ago we moved from our 100-year-old home to one that was only 25 years old. After plaster and lath walls, slanted floors and all that goes with an old house we felt like we were getting a really new house. It didn’t take us long to discover that most things in a house last about 25 years, so once again we’ve found ourselves in the midst of remodeling many times during the past six years.
We finished our last remodeling project about a several ago, so when we discovered in early December that our chimney had partially collapsed and was no longer safe to use for fires I thought I was ready for another minor disruption. We decided to put a liner and insert in the fireplace, which would heat more efficiently. We were assured it would take 3 days and although they couldn’t get here until the week before Christmas it would be no problem to have it done well before Christmas day.
Watch for it!
Three days became three weeks and a lot more money! Once again my motto held fast, but I hadn’t really prepared myself for it so it took me awhile to accept that there would be no family room available over the holidays – no fireplace, and no place to put the tree. But there was a lot of dust, which I had been told wouldn’t be there.
Where am I going with this? Well, as believers we need to continually count the cost of every choice we make. If you’ve already made the most important one – to accept Christ’s work on the cross to purchase your salvation, and to follow Him as Lord of all, then you will need to look at your choices through the eyes of Scripture.
Choices will need to be looked at to determine the long-term effect as well as the short-term effect. What are we modeling for our children, our brothers and sisters in the Lord, or unsaved extended family members?
Are our lives attractive and inviting? Do we make following our Lord and Savior look like something worth living for? Worth dying for?
We will also need to ask this question, “Are our choices going to cost us something?” Choose well.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the 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 14:27-30 (NKJV)
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