The Cost is High

20 minutes until the train leaves. I can make it. I jump in my car to rush to the station to get to work just like every other morning– only this morning I’m behind the wheel. My parents usually drive me to the train station because there are few parking spaces left by the time I take the train and I’m always running late. This past Thursday, there was a mandatory volunteer meeting for my church’s Vacation Bible School that I would attend after work. My church isn’t far from the train station so I decided to drive myself.

I take the usual shortcut to get to the station and I arrive with 5 minutes to spare. That leaves me just enough time to drive down a few aisles as I realize there are no parking spots left. Alas, I see a patch of grass where 4 other cars have parked. If 4 other people did it, it must be legal, right? I climb the curb in my little Matrix and park next to the other cars. It must be my lucky day! I see a parking ranger driving by. I snap a picture of my car to show my parents I found a spot and I wave the ranger down. “Am I legally parked here?” I ask the man. He pauses for a moment, and looks where I’m pointing, “Yes,” he responds before driving off. I sprint through the parking lot and up the stairs to make the train.

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The day comes to an end. I get on the return train to the station. I walk through the parking lot and am met with an orange envelope on my windshield. No…. We all know what that means. I open the paper and am fuming as I look at my $75 ticket. I run down the line and look at all of the other cars that also have tickets. I get in my car and let out my rage by abusing my steering wheel with my half empty water bottle (those anger problems I previously blogged about; God’s still working on). I calm down and drive to the church meeting, talking to myself about the “stupid ranger” and the “unfair ticket”, all the while listening to praise and worship music.

The next morning my dad decides to look at our driveway through the living room window, “What happened to your hubcap?” he says. What. I run outside and stand next to the rear passenger wheel– it was gone. It fell off when I parked on the grass because I had to climb the curb.

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I was angry and ready to contest the ticket because of the ranger’s word. I didn’t want to buy a new hubcap. Then it hit me, all of this happened as I took a step to serve God’s kingdom more. I resolved to pay the ticket quickly. I realized a valuable lesson– the cost of serving Christ is high.

I just did a quick Google on bible verses that talk about suffering for Christ and there are a lot. Here are a few:

The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. — Acts 5:41 NLT

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.– Romans 8:17 NLT

Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. — 2 Corinthians 11:23 NLT

All throughout the bible you see people suffering for the Gospel. Today there are still countless Christians  being persecuted in other lands. It may seem insignificant to some, but that parking ticket and missing hubcap really reminded me that being a Christian also means we have to be willing to serve Christ wholeheartedly, doing His work– no matter what the cost may be.

God has a different plan for each and every believer’s life. Thus, His plan for each of us to serve, and the cost each of us may have to pay will vary. I went to that meeting because a few Sundays ago when I saw the flier asking for volunteers to help at Vacation Bible School, I saw it as a first step for me to get back into serving His kingdom. The ticket and hubcap definitely gave me a clear picture of what we sign up for when we serve God and when we ask that His will, not ours be done.

Serving Him won’t always be easy. It won’t always be comfortable. It certainly won’t be perfect. Yet, just as the bible talks countless times about the suffering we are to endure as Christians, it also talks about our reward, God’s gifts, His goodness and His promises to us. We may suffer on this earth in this present body, but we are later promised a great reward.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18

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2 thoughts on “The Cost is High

  1. This is awesome, Amber! It is so well written and on such a profound level, not to mention how important the topic is.

    You inspire me!

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