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The Price of Success (published in The North Weld Herald 8/13/09)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:14 PM by Fccea Webmaster
In the early 1930s, a farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer was fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost. "$10 for 3 minutes," replied the pilot. "That's too much," said the farmer. The pilot thought for a second and then said, "Ill make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you'll have to pay $10." The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride.

After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, "I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man." "Maybe so," said the farmer, "But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out!"

The story may be apocryphal, but it does make a point. Success comes with a price.

We live, of course, in a success-oriented society. Results are what count, and our performance is measured routinely at work -- to say nothing of the standards that society sets and that we buy into for measuring success in home, family and community life.
It is the norm these days for both parents to work -- a necessity to have the right house in the right neighborhood with the right cars and the right frenzy of activities. We sacrifice almost anything to give our children every advantage in sports, experiences, education, culture, and friendships. We want them to be able to compete in a demanding world. We are exceptionally well-intentioned.

The question is, when is does it all become too much? At what point has the whirlwind of activity that constitutes our lives blown out of control? When have the sacrifices become relational as opposed to reasonable -- time and money? Are we now just doing without thinking why we are doing? Have we lost the big picture? In our reach for the good, have we lost the best? Have we given our families everything -- everything, except ourselves? Have we fallen out of the plane?

Jesus offered an interesting question in Luke 14:28: "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?" Have we counted the cost to our families lately for all the advantages we are giving them? In all the flurry, is it possible that they are missing what is most important -- time with us?

We don't want to be like the wife who said to her husband, "Charlie, I am warning you about your hours. The night before last, you came home yesterday. Last night, you came home today. This evening, if you come home tomorrow, I wont be here." For their sake, let's be there even if the plane ride has to go.

By His Grace, Pastor Dave