Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 09, 2010 | Comments (0)

There Are Two Sides To Any Story

Luke 14:25-33

There are two sides to living life. Do you live as a human being on a spiritual journey, or do you live as you’re a spiritual being on a human journey? A human being on a spiritual journey depends on the journey for their spirituality. A spiritual being on a human journey, depends on their spirituality for the journey.

The story goes of the man who woke up in the middle of the night. He heard a sound at his garage.

There were two men trying to break in. He immediately called 911. "Someone is trying to break into my garage!"

"We will be there right away."

Ten minutes later there were no police. He called a second time. “They broke into my garage and are now robbing me.”

“We will be there right away.”

Ten minutes later still no police.

He called a third time. “I called about the men breaking in my garage. Don’t bother to come. I shot them.”

The police were there immediately and arrested the two men.

The police sergeant asked the man. “Why did you call and tell us you shot them when you did not?”

He replied, “Why did you tell me you were coming right away and you did not?”

There are always to sides to any story.

Jesus tells us we must count the cost if we are to build a building or if we are going to do battle with someone. It is a matter of logic, if we do not have enough resources to complete the building or if we are outnumbered in battle we should not go forward with it.

Some believe this story means we should count the cost before we decide to follow Jesus. They depend on the journey for their spirituality. This mentality will result in legalism. As long as the journey goes well, “Let the good times roll.” When they no longer have the resources or the strength to go on and the journey does not go well they drop out. We are the ones who are to pay the price to follow Jesus. If we cannot afford it, we will either drop out because we are not worthy or try to justify ourselves so we are worthy to follow Him. This is done by showing that others are not as holy, faithful or as good as we are.

The problem is, there is no one who has the means or the power to pay the price for life. It is Jesus who paid the price. I know that if, fifty years ago, I had counted the cost of going into the priesthood I would never have done it. There is no way I had the means to count the cost. The only reason I am grateful for the opportunity to serve is because God already counted the cost and paid for it on the cross. The cross is the way of Grace. Human beings on a spiritual journey attempt to feel good about life. There are things that will happen no one can feel good about. God has given with us the spiritual power and resources within us to be at Peace in, not necessarily about, all of life’s circumstances. Phil 4:11

When Jesus said, “It is finished”, it seems like it is still going on. After all, “It (life) is not over until it is over.” The other side of the story it is like the football game when Georgia Tech beat Cumberland 220 to 0. Tech scored 63 points in the first quarter and 63 points in the second quarter. By that time the game was not over, BUT IT WAS AS GOOD AS OVER”. On the cross, there was that moment when it was not over, but it was as good as over. The price was paid. It was DONE.

What then is the meaning of this parable? The point is, it is God who counted the cost. God knew the cost of building His Church. He knew He had the resources to do it. Only God knew if He had the power to come against Satan to do battle. If God knew He would fail, He would not have gone to battle. This is God’s Church not ours. He has the resources to build it and he will do it. God has the power to defeat Satan and He will do it. As spiritual beings on a human journey we depend on the spiritual resources and the power of God in Jesus Christ for our journey with Him.
Sometimes we need to take the time to discover where we are on the journey. Are we depending in the wisdom of our resources and strength for our life journey? Are we depending on the Wisdom of the inner Resources and Power of God for the journey? Either way we need to ask ourselves, “How is it working for us?”

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