My brother and his little girl lived with us for a brief period of time. His little girl, Lilly, is my mini-me. She has lots of sass, a tiny filter, and her face can say more than her mouth which is a whole lot!
One afternoon, she and I were sitting on the couch coloring. I am not sure what we were coloring, but I am sure it was Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty or the like. Out of the clear blue, she looks at me and declares, “I have always wondered what it was like to have a gold tooth.”
I immediately begin to snicker, but as I have learned over the years there is no time for snickering when Lilly is sharing. I was busting at the seams trying to control my laughter as she continued to explain herself.
“If I had a gold tooth, I’d have to have an eye patch and a big hat with a giant feather AND a puffy shirt with a sword. I don’t really want to be a pirate, so I guess I will never know what it is like to have a gold tooth.”
And just like that, her wonder was over. She had calculated the cost and she wasn’t willing to become a pirate, so she didn’t get a gold tooth. I chuckle as I type, because this conversation still tickles me.
As I recall this seemingly innocent comment, I think about the wisdom in this silly story which was not silly at all to her. I think about her counting the cost of the gold tooth at merely four years old. She learned that there is a cost associated with the things that we want.
I also thought about her perception of a gold tooth and how she counted costs that weren’t really associated with having a gold tooth. As adults, we understand there is a monetary cost for gold, but there is no expectation of becoming a pirate associated with a gold tooth. I , however, very much understand counting costs that aren’t necessarily 100% real.
Have you ever been counting the cost and it got out of hand? Like, were you thinking, “I’d like to go on that short term mission trip to Africa this year.” Then you began to think, ” I am not sure if I should go on a short term mission trip or not.” Shortly after watching a few YouTube videos about Africa, you decide that there are deadly critters that could bite you or even eat you and no one would ever know what happened to you. Your parents and children would spend all of their time and money looking for you with hopes of finding you in some remote cave still clinging to life. They would all be broke and homeless and still empty from not knowing the specifics of your demise. THEN … you quickly decide that Africa is just not for you. After all, you wouldn’t want your entire family to become homeless, right?
How quickly our minds can get out of hand if they are left to their own devices. The Bible talks about counting the cost in Luke 14, but I don’t think this is what He had in mind. Counting costs of our actions is normal. Evaluating the pros and cons of any decision is just good stewardship. Its when we let our minds wonder through the endless “what ifs” we become paralyzed by fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 is one of my favorite verses. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV
If the fear is not from God, then neither are the “what ifs” that led us into the fear place. Fill your mind, heart, and spirit with truth and love from the Word. Step away from the “what ifs” of Satan (death, destruction, mayhem) and into the “what ifs” of God (salvation, heaven, peace).
And for that pressing question from the beginning …
What is the cost of a gold tooth? About $500. No pirate crew needed.
Much Love Peeps!