Chris and I went sofa bed shopping last night.
We went to the right place that had the right sofa bed at the right price so we were in and out of that store in about two hours. We decided to grab something quick to eat before returning home and found a little Portuguese chicken restaurant that served us a delicious meal.
As we settled into our first course, a young family of three sat down beside us. Mom and Dad kept very busy entertaining their active four-year-old son, who was far more interested in running around their table then sitting quietly and colouring. Eventually, the little guy settled down to a bowl of rice while Dad and Mom struck up a conversation with us. Chris and I learned all about the ups and downs of driving an eighteen wheeler as well as commuting to Toronto every day to be a law clerk. Mom was a very astute, articulate woman who told us about her five hours of travel every day. She explained that she could easily find a law clerk job near her home but it would only pay half of the salary she was receiving at a downtown Toronto law firm.
As Chris and I drove home, we began talking about the cost of our decisions. I wondered what cost this young couple was “paying” by Dad being on the road for 10 hours/day and Mom commuting downtown five days/week so that she could make more money.
No judgment – I’m sure this couple have worked it through and they’re doing what works best for them – but it got me thinking.
In the past few years, I’ve learned to ask this question when I am making a decision:
What will this decision cost me?
I don’t mean just financially, although finances are indeed one factor to consider.
If I am in the process of pursuing a certain direction in my life, I think through the cost in the following areas:
What will this decision cost me in time? (Because I will never get this time or this season of life back)
What will this decision cost me in effort? (Because I only have limited physical capacity)
What will this decision cost me spiritually? (Because I desire to be in the centre of God’s will – not merely asking Him to bless MY plans)
What will this decision cost me mentally? (Because what I think is foundational in all of my life decisions)
What will this decision cost me emotionally? (Because what I know tells me what is true but my emotions tell me what I believe)
What will this decision cost me relationally? (Because I strive to live in a way that communicates that my love relationships deeply matter to me)
What will this decision cost me financially? (Because finances can not be the deciding factor)
I have learned that the cost of present decisions can become the root of future regrets.
And regret is a big price to pay for foolishness.
Lord, give me wisdom in my inmost heart.
Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. Psalm 51.6