Do you count?

594Caught in a serious moment, deep in thought, messy desk and all, writing creatively.

When we are slow to speak and quick to listen, we are displaying wisdom in our lives. When we speak up, it is important to remember to let our ‘yes be yes’ and ‘our no be no’. One of our highest priorities; be true to our word.

Many times in the past I was asked to help with a project, or take on a responsibility. Unfortunately I said yes more than once. At the time I didn’t really think about the consequences, I just thought I would be helpful. Maturing, I learned a great lesson. It is wise to count the cost before making any commitment, in word or deed.

Today I was so happy I caught myself before I made that mistake again. I was seriously contemplating doing something that sounded like a really good idea without thinking it through. I wanted to contact someone to inquire about a position that just opened up. As a writer, I have written articles for a local newspaper off and on for years. That position I referred to was for writing a column for the paper on a weekly basis. To have the responsibility that comes with it, deadlines, etc. there is a huge cost as well as a great responsibility. I was challenged by the columnist who had been writing it for nearly ten years to take her place. My first instinct was excitement. I quickly sent a message to my friend working for that paper asking who I contact? She responded shortly, informing me what to do.

Fortunately I am maturing, and with that maturity I am gaining wisdom. Therefore, I decided not to continue pursuing this opportunity without actually doing what I talk about. I took time to stop and count the cost. What exactly would be the cost/benefit ratio? Is it a paid position? How much time do I currently have to commit each week for research and actual writing time to create interesting articles? Could I be faithful to stay focused and do a good job, or would I get bored with the idea after a short time? Would this decision open doors for other opportunities for my line of work; or would it just add more work and take away other opportunities for my future?

I wrote about this experience to use as an example of “counting the cost”. The word cost implies something is not free. I realized this truth when I made the commitment to write a post here daily, if possible, knowing this too takes time.

What do I have that is more valuable than time? Nothing! Time spent is time never to be regained somewhere else or at some other time. We all have so many heart beats and so many breaths. The reality that I cannot add even one more heartbeat to my life reminds me to treasure each one I have.

When I take time to write these posts, it is with the hope they will help the reader gain some insight or encouragement as they too spend their own heart beats and breath. I highly recommend we become more aware how we spend this precious gift we have called time.

When I count the cost to any commitment in the future, I will keep in mind the commitments I already have and determine if I can put one more thing on my plate. Remember, when we add one thing to our schedule, we may be required to take something else away. I love to write and plan to complete the work I have before me. Can I realistically add another responsibility such as that and do it justice?

Part of counting the cost is to ask ourselves serious questions. Are there things on our plate that need to be removed to be able to make room for that which needs to be there now? Do we need a bigger plate or smaller responsibilities? Whatever our race, culture, gender, or age, we are all humans with limited capabilities. Remember, stopping to ponder, then count the cost before moving forward with yet another commitment will surely be time well spent.

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