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? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Matthew 6 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Admittedly, these two verses, and others liked them, confused me. I count them as one pair of a number of apparent contradictions in the Bible. And, in my own life, I have found myself on either side of these thoughts. Sometimes, I fall into wonderful opportunities with work that allow me to continue paying the bills, through no proper planning on my own. Clearly, God gifted them to me, while I remained focused on glorifying Him. At other times, I have planned certain moves in my career, taking cold, calculated risks. A few have backfired, but many have paid off. To confuse matters further, I have heard pastors preach on each of these, taking a stand on either side of this argument. I also have friends on each side, as well.
However, the older I become, the more I realize that a tension exists between these two passages, rather than a contradiction. On one hand, we should count the costs of whatever we do in life, and plan with that in mind. One the other hand, we should never put such plans above glorifying God. Rather, in all things we do, including planning and work we should glorify God. I have two quick illustrations of this ‘tension,’ in motion, which I hope will inspire you. One of them include my current and future plans, as I made a decision that will impact my presence here on the internet.
Before I met my wife, as a single person I strongly desired to marry. I did not care for living alone, and thought often of having someone to share my life and love with. As most Americans, I sought multiple opportunities to date women, hoping to meet ‘the one.’ After years of searching, I got nowhere. I just about gave up. Heartbroken, but not beaten, I prayed to God that if He wanted me to remain single, as seemed the case to me, I would dedicate my life to becoming the best single person for Him, possible. No matter what happened, even if disappointed, I would glorify God. A few months later, I met my wife. I felt like this was the principle of Matthew 6 in motion.
During my single days, hoping I would marry, I took several steps to prepare. I studied the Bible often, so I could serve grounded in God’s Word. I attended numerous youth groups designed to prepare young people for relationships. Later, a number of the lessons I learned would directly come into play after we hit a few rough patches in our marriage! I continued to work hard at my job so that I could do my part to financially support my wife, and possibly children, into the future. After I married, each of these preparations paid off multiple times. I thanked God that gave me the wisdom to count the costs and plan accordingly. This was Luke 14 in motion.
Years later, I find myself at a similar crossroads. Lately, I have used my free time outside of work to practice my writing and reading books nearly nonstop to help in that area. At the same time, my wife and I have discussed my career. As I mentioned earlier, God opened up a number of doors to get me into the job I have now. Under normal circumstances, one would need a four year bachelor’s degree to hold this position. However, despite the fact that I never did finish my college run, this job promoted me into the role I have now held for nearly a decade.
However, nothing lasts forever. I still have many working years in me. In researching future job possibilities, I quickly realized that despite my experience, nearly one half to two thirds of the jobs available would not accept me into a similar role since I lack a college degree. No job, especially in my industry, lasts for too long. But, if I want to continue doing this type of work (albeit for other companies), I must count the costs and consider returning to college to finish what I started.
After much discussion with my wife, she agreed. We always want to glorify God first, and foremost, in everything we do. And we pray that this decision will, in some unfathomable way, do just that. While this will certainly slow down my plans to write stories and draw comics glorifying Him, as a husband, I must do my best to provide for my wife and family. In today’s culture, in the field God gifted me in, that includes the price tag of working through college.
Even though that will certainly mean my post frequency will drop, I plan to continue some posting here on the blog. I hesitate to announce specific plans or ideas until I get into a good rhythm with my college work, and see just what kind of free time I have left. I will continue to read and respond to my normal social media outlets, including email, however! I will not fall off the grid entirely by any stretch. With that said, if I do not post a new blog entry but only once or twice each month, you have a good idea why!
How about you? Do you have any stories you would like to share about this subject? Until next time, may God bless you richly.