At the end of yesterday's post, I said we would talk about some of the costs of serving. You are probably expecting a breakdown of different charities you can donate to or how to buy a goat for a village in India (google World Vision Catalog for that one), but I am thinking more along the lines of personal cost.
Time, because once spent it doesn't come back.
Inconvenience, because opportunities don't make appointments. They knock.
Shifts in belief, because stepping into someone else's world will affect your own.
And of course, money, because our checkbooks are a record of our priorities.
I also think of the personal cost of following where God leads when there is no clear-cut path. In the Bible, Noah counted the cost of ridicule when he built the ark at God's command. Did you know the world had never seen rain before the flood? Can you imagine the smack-talking he had to put up with during the time he was constructing their floating refuge? Obedience to God cost him.
I think about Abraham (Abram) who was told to leave his family and set out for a land he had never seen. Following God cost him his community, the very life he had set up for himself. But he took his wife and did as he was commanded. I can just imagine the conversation between him and his wife. "Where are we going?" "I don't know." "How will we know when we get there?" "I don't know." Obedience cost him.
Sometimes living your life to make a difference costs. Noah and Abraham, and countless other in the Bible paid high prices to follow God. But the difference they made in the history of the world is immeasurable. Jesus Himself paid a price in following that changed the course of eternity.
In our own little world, we might never know the effect we are having on someone else's life. But if we decide to focus on what it costs us and never take a step, we will miss out on the blessings God has waiting in the process, and miss the chance to be a blessing to someone else.
I shared some of the stuff I struggle with in yesterday's post. I like my schedule and my quiet time and getting involved with people is messy. But I know that when I get over myself, it's a beautiful mess indeed. Community is built. Hope whispers of a better tomorrow. Love takes root.
Think about what makes you dig your heels in. What's your budget for getting involved?