So much of life is about give and take. What are we willing to give up to get something else? There are simple decisions: This morning I wanted to wear a particular pair of pants. When I put them on, I could not breathe adequately. Giving up my ability for good circulation was not worth wearing the pants. So, back in the closet they go. There are decisions we make which have a little more challenge, but we still often know the right answer: We can eat the cake. The cake is good and it is our favorite. We have earned the right to eat the cake (it is our body, after all). But if we eat the cake, we are giving up what we have worked on for the last week. Is it worth it to give up all of the efforts over the last week for a piece of cake? Sometimes the answer is yes – eat the cake. Sometimes it is no – put down the fork. Then, there are longer term decisions: I choose to give up eating foods that others willingly eat so I do not have to take cholesterol medication. My body doesn’t react the same way to what I consume. I am willing to give up some foods to live a healthier life. This decision has more challenges, but overall is just the right call for me, so it becomes a part of who I am.
There are still other decisions we make and we don’t realize just have much we have given up. We can find ourselves in situations where we have been willing to sacrifice some things which are really important in order to obtain something else. We may have given up our time to devote to a particular task. The task may be wonderful and rewarding, it is a sacrifice of time we gladly make. There are decisions we make which lead us to give up our time with our family. We may have to make those sacrifices so we can put food on the table. But I wonder if we don’t willingly sacrifice time with family to do more than just put food on the table. I wonder if we don’t find ourselves sacrificing to obtain things which really don’t matter all that much. There are still other sacrifices we make which leave us without our peace and our joy. We don’t always make these choices knowingly. It just happens. We find ourselves looking at where we are and wondering if all we are giving up is worth what we are taking in. Is this job or this relationship or this object worth our peace? Is this too much of a price to pay? Our answer may be yes. If so, we begin to re-orient. We begin to make changes, often with really painful outcomes. It takes effort to reclaim what we have previously given away, even if we did it without realizing. But in the end, is our peace and our joy worth it? Are we worth it?
We all find ourselves in give and take situations on a daily basis. Today, maybe we begin to evaluate if what we are taking is really worth what we are giving. Maybe it is time to count the cost. Is it really worth it? Or is today the day to begin to steer in a different direction – taking back that which we did not mean to give up?
Blessings as you move forward, steering your course, finding your way.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery