“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” –Luke 14:31
Have you ever decided or promised to do something and later realized you wouldn’t be able to make it happen? Were you embarrassed or felt like you had failed?
A few years ago while outside photographing some flowers, I came across an interesting sight. A tetragnatha pinicola spider appeared to have sensed movement. It slowly made its way to the center of the flower where a honey bee was gathering pollen. As both the spider and honey bee drew closer together, the spider carefully stretched out one of its legs, drew it back again, and backed away. It appeared to have examined its potential prey and counted the costs before attacking. The bee on the other hand seemed quite undaunted by the spider’s presence or covert probe. The encounter reminded me of Jesus admonishing a great multitude of followers to count the cost of becoming His disciple (Luke 14:25-35). A Japanese proverb says, “A monk for just three days,” describes a person who hadn’t fully considered what he was getting into and gave up when things became too difficult. Jesus never promised us a rose garden here on Earth. Following Jesus has cost some people their family, friends, jobs, and even lives. A Dutch proverb says, “What costs nothing is worth nothing.” Just as Jesus used the common examples of a man building a tower and a king going to war, we, too, should count the cost before venturing into any potential unknown.
“Before you act, consider; when you have considered, ‘tis fully time to act.” —Sallust, Roman historian