You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is profitable. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Lacing up my running shoes one Sunday morning, the words, “I’m so embarrassed you’re my wife,” kept running through my head. Sure the night before at the school fundraiser I had too much to drink. But who didn’t? It was an open bar and who could remember the evening anyway. Certainly, my memories were spotty at best.
A big gulp of water and I was out the door ready to sweat out the morning-after feeling. My thoughts were all over the place.
Who should I call to find out what happened? What is the last memory I have of the night? Was it when I was talking to Peter or…wait I kind of remember talking to the head of school…maybe I didn’t. I hope I didn’t! Whatever, it’s all their problem anyhow. I am just having a good time and if Jim, or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t like it, too bad. I can’t control their responses. I did not do anything illegal!
But I did miss the entire fundraiser. I did spend the whole night out at the bar. I did miss the seated dinner. I did walk out without my shoes on. I don’t remember much of the night. Yes, I was doing what was legal. I was over 21. I wasn’t driving. But was I doing what was profitable? Was I truly living to the best of my ability? At the time, I believe I was. I didn’t know better, so I couldn’t do better.
It was a few years after that, and dozens more of those type of nights later, that I finally had my moment of clarity.
Maybe this isn’t something that is going to end well? I didn’t mean to drink this much. Why did I? Seems like this is a pattern and gosh, I’m not 20 anymore. This is getting ridiculous. Do I think it’s going to get better or is it likely that it will get worse?
These questions swirled around during another one of my seldom-admitting morning-after hazes. But the truth was emerging inside of me and I had a choice to either continue on and suffer more, or take an honest look at where I was heading. Even if it was easy to lump these incidents into the ‘just-having-a-fun-night-out-don’t-be-a-stick-in-the-mud’ category.
So it is with many things in life. We do what is legal but not profitable. We ignore the patterns. We suffer. And we keep going and spiraling down until we can’t take it anymore. The pain outweighs the gain. The balances tip in favor of self-honesty and we are willing to summons the courage to change. Or we aren’t and the pattern continues ad nauseam.
The Bible is full of wisdom like this. God knows that human nature is such that we try to get away with what we can. We want the most out of life with the least amount of effort. And this is exactly opposite the reality of profit. Legal is easy. Profit is work.
Are you willing to look at the character traits that are legal but not profitable to you? Is the pain great enough to cause you to change? If not currently, are you able to look into the future and see the potential suffering that is coming down the line if you choose not to change now? That is what I did. It’s called being pro-active. I didn’t want to suffer anymore. I didn’t want to lose it all. I listened to that still small voice that was saying:
April, it’s time. This pattern is holding you back from being all I have made you to be. I have more for you. Yes, you’ll have to change. Yes, it might be hard. But I will be with you. I won’t leave you. I want your cup to be overflowing. Just say YES. Say YES to doing what is profitable and know that eye has not seen and ear has not heard what I have prepared for you. You are called according to My purpose. Let go. Let go. Let go.
And so I did.
March 18, 2016.
One. Day. At. A. Time.
Living my life in the profit zone. And I don’t regret one hour of it…neither does my family.