When my wife and I stuck our head out the door of our motel room one morning, we were greeted by a torrential rainstorm. Because we were driving a larger-than-usual vehicle, we had to park a distance from our room, and that meant we were in for a wet run to our vehicle. I was collecting our overnight bag, so my wife was the one who struck out into the monsoon first. For the most part, she was able to run under the cover of that motel overhang. So I took off, sprinting along the route that she had just taken. What I missed was her yelling “No!” to me as I approached a place to cross the parking lot. I missed her warning and promptly, you know, ran full speed into a huge puddle that had accumulated at the edge of the sidewalk: soaked socks, soaked shoes, squishing all day. Maybe you’ve been there. Oh, and my wife’s feet? They were dry. Mine were soaked. The difference? She looked ahead to see where she was stepping. I didn’t.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Watching Where You’re Stepping.”
Not looking ahead that day of the monsoon only cost me dry feet for a few hours. Unfortunately, that same mistake can cost you much more when it comes to making many of your life-choices. If you don’t watch where you’re about to step, you may step into something that will hurt for a long time.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus offers some important guidance for making “no regrets” decisions. The context is about the decision to be His follower. And while Luke 13:28 applies directly to that choice, it also warns us about a mistake we make in so many of our life-decisions.
Jesus says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'”
Notice those seven brilliant words, “First sit down and estimate the cost.” Now, that’s what I wish I had done before I picked my path for running through the rain to my car. I didn’t look ahead. I didn’t see what price I would pay for going the way I was going.
If you were to look back on some of the decisions you regret in the past, I’ll bet you’d see that you failed to really watch where you were stepping; to see what this was going to cost you. For many of us, a lot of the frustration and pain we’re dealing with today is the harvest of bad decisions that we’ve made in the past. Jesus wants us to avoid regrets like those by looking where we’re stepping.
You don’t just run into something because it feels good or sounds good or looks good. Before you go running ahead full speed, you have to stop your forward progress. “First sit down,” Jesus said, and ask yourself some cost-counting questions. How is this going to affect my family? How will it affect my reputation? How about my health? How about the other commitments I’ve already made? How is going to affect them? What could this cost me financially? How is it going to affect my time with God? How about my time to serve God? What temptations is this going to throw me into? What am I sacrificing to do this? Can I really live with what this might cost me?
Those questions anticipate the harvest that you’re going to reap from the decision you’re about to make – the price you’ll be paying. So listen to Jesus. Don’t go charging into something until you have really looked at what you’re about to step into!