Is It Worth It?

Is It Worth It?

One of the more memorable things I’ve done in life was to take a study tour to Israel several years ago.  While it was an adventure at the time, in retrospect, I realize that I intentionally used my own time and my own funds, in order that I might do more work! 

And yet there is no way I would trade that time back, or ever consider what I might otherwise have done with the considerable amount of funds it cost me.  Yes, I gave up some things, but what I discovered in the process is worth so much more than a couple of week’s time and over a month’s wages.  I can now give an enthusiastic presentation on the country of Israel in current times as well as Biblical times.  All I need is my slide show, and the rest is still pretty much in my head.  Before the trip, I would have been hard pressed to find Nazareth on a map.  It had so much of an effect on me, that I’m still going on about it five years later. 

So now I ask you; do you think the trip was worth the cost to me?  I know that sounds like a dumb question, but I ask it because I want to be sure that you understand how valuable giving up something can be.  Read that last line again if you didn’t quite understand.  The beauty of print is that it can wait for you. 

This is just one example of gaining something by first giving up something.  We do it often in life, the best examples being the purchase of a house or a vehicle.  There is a sacrifice being made at this time, in order that we might have something better in the future.  It can cost us time and money, but that’s ok because the end will be worth what we have given up to get there.  Just keep your eye on the long term goal. 

In a lot of ways, this is what the season of Lent promotes as well.  It offers us an opportunity to give up some of our time for prayer, contemplation, fellowship and study in order that we might gain something greater out of the experience.  Yes, an effort is required and yes, it may not always be convenient, but to ignore the opportunity can be like our 1980’s selves saying “I don’t think these shares offered by that Bill Gates fellow will ever be worth anything.”  We all have so much we could gain. 


Rev. Charles Nolting