Really, what profit is there for you to gain the whole world and lose yourself in the process?
(Mark 8:36 VOICE)
We chase, but do we consider the cost before we set out on the chase? We desire a bigger home, but do we consider the upkeep, taxes, furnishings, and sheer volume of labor with acquiring it? We want to drive the shiniest new car, but do we consider the impact of that "investment" on the bottom line of our family's finances? Lots of times we think we are making the right moves, especially when it comes to relationships, only to find we somehow missed the mark. Time slips away, things we thought were going to build the relationship ended up tearing it down, and we find ourselves not much further along than when we first began - just with more baggage and a lot more "clean up" than we desired.
What we fail to recognize as we set out on these "brave new journeys" in life is the "cost" compared to the "profit". A good businessman will tell you it is important to not just "break even" - you want to make a profit in your endeavor. I have undertaken some things, like selling Tupperware or Avon earlier on in my life, only to find the "break even point" was pretty hard to reach and the "costs" associated with selling the newest product actually chewed away at my bottom line! I just didn't know that many people and door to door sales were not my thing!
In every "venture" there is some kind of "cost" - but there is usually an associated "profit" we expect from that venture. In terms of relationship, the costs can be things like the time it takes to actually cultivate relationship, or trusting someone with the "real" us enough to actually be genuine within that relationship. There are costs with every decision we make as it affects someone else in the process - one of us in the relationship will "pay" for the decision and rarely do we get it right so it is an equally "shared" investment! To believe all relationship decisions can be 50/50 is kind of naive, to say the least. Someone will always be asked to give 51% (having the controlling interest in the decision). This is the nature of relationship - give and take, invest and profit, hold on and let go.
As it comes to the most important relationship in our lives (the one we maintain with Jesus), we don't always get the "profit/loss" ratio right. You see, we believe ourselves to be giving 100%, while we all know it is impossible for us to give what has already been given! Maybe we think it is a 50/50 split - I do a little, he does a little, I do a little more, he does a little more, etc. When something is already "done", how can anyone give or do anymore to "get er done"? Jesus asks a pointed question: "What profit is it for us to gain the whole world, while all along the journey from here to there we are losing little bits and pieces of ourselves in something which really could not gain us anything more in life?"
All the world has to offer is fleeting - the only eternal thing we can chase is closeness in relationship to Jesus. The more we chase the things, the less we chase the ONE thing which really matters. Just sayin!