Most men I know have, at one time or another, considered purchasing a recliner. The thought of coming home after work to sit down and roll back the recliner to take a cat nap or just take it easy after a tough day is quite appealing. And it seems to be more alluring as the years of work pile up. Recently, during an 8 pm call to my accountability partner, he remarked that he frequently naps around 8:30 pm in order to get ready for bed. Granted, he meant that ‘tongue in cheek’ (sort of). But, as the years mosey on, I am resembling his sentiment more often. Therefore, Shirley and I have talked about and looked at recliners.
Now anyone who knows me very well would acknowledge that I need very little help getting to sleep. Wherever I’m at, if I have 30 minutes, I can sleep 29 of them. Like my dad, I have been known to ‘nod off’ at a stop light. For me, then, a recliner is just an ‘apparatus’ to use. It neither helps nor hinders rest. It just serves as a convenient reminder for me that it’s time to relax.
As Shirley and I began to explore possibilities, we found a significant range of options. There were recliners for large men. There were recliners for small men. There were recliners to help you stay warm and ones to help vibrate tensions away. There were recliners to roll away from the wall as well as ones to rock and swivel. There were power activated ones as well as the old reliable lever activated ones (arm strong power ones). Yet, whatever the variety, they all had one thing in common: a price tag to match their specialty. Sometimes those price tags made us go ‘hummm, that’s not too bad’. Other ones made us say, ‘you’ve got to be kidding’.
Now that our search has begun to draw to a close, we’re learning something ‘new’ about ourselves…THE COST REQUIRES THAT WE DECIDE IF WE JUST PREFER A RECLINER or IF WE ARE CONVINCED THAT WE NEED ONE. For me, as the cost escalates, the level of preference also escalates.
This tendency is not only true when we are shopping for a rather costly household item. It can be true when we consider our true spiritual condition. Almost all of us are convinced that our fallen, sinful condition requires a ‘costly salvation’. But, sometimes we prefer not to think about a corresponding ‘costly service’.
Reading about that service in Luke’s inspired description, Luke 14:26, 27, 33, I am struck by the stark reality of it. His words make me blink and swallow hard. And I’m tempted to drain some of the solemnity out of them. But, when I compare Matthew’s inspired consensus of Jesus’ own words , Matthew 16:24-27, I am faced with a decision: when looking at the cost of discipleship, do I just PREFER to be a disciple or am I CONVINCED that I must be one.
The cost of discipleship is one measurement of my decision. But, the constraint of discipleship and call to real discipleship is another. So…I want to be honest.
DO I JUST PREFER TO BE A DISCIPLE or AM I CONVINCED TO BE ONE? DO I JUST WANT THE DELIGHT OF SALVATION and NOT THE DUTY OF IT?
I must decide!