I was talking with a friend one day and he noticed that we were selling a used, luxury recliner.
He asked, “How much are you asking for it?”.
“Two-hundred and fifty”, I replied.
He paused and nodded, giving me the opportunity to comment further.
I told him a brand new recliner of the same type costs upwards of $800, but I couldn’t imagine how someone could pay that much for a recliner. I thought, “800 dollars seems like a lot of money to pay for a single piece of furniture.”
He replied with a neat perspective I had evidently forgotten the moment before.
He explained how, when you think about it, if the recliner lasts you 10 years and you use it even 1 hour a day and it makes your life better then in reality you are only paying cents per day for the recliner. And even if you didn’t use it that much, it provided comfortable seating that contributed to your happiness and, in many cases, your health.
Then it hit me. He was right. It’s all a matter of perspective to see the value of investing in the long term rather than just thinking about the upfront cost.
According to this site, a recliner should last 7-15 years. Taking the average of that, which is 11 years, and saying that someone uses the recliner just twice everyday (a pretty a modest estimate for most people) I thought I would do the math:
365 days x 11 years x 2 uses per day = 8,030 uses
$800.00/8,030 = $0.09962...
So, if the recliner originally cost $800.00 and it was used just twice per day for the estimated 11 year lifetime of the recliner, that would be less than 10 cents per use. For someone that used it more or had it longer, it would be even less.
Indeed, in order to justify the upfront cost, you would need to have the long term benefits in mind -how the recliner would make your life better. If someone only looked at the here and now, 800 dollars they would have to give up in the short-term, then they would likely miss seeing the real value of investing in it for their long-term comfort. (I hope I’m not starting to sound like a recliner advertisement…)
His point stuck with me for the rest of the day. It really reminded me of this life and our walk to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, looking ahead into eternity.
Yes, we endure trials and persecution for His name’s sake. Yes, we give up our flesh, deny ourselves, and take up our stauros daily to follow Yahushua. However, when you look at this life as the passing vapor it is and into eternity, then you see that the passing afflictions, trials and things we give up now now are nothing in comparison to what awaits us in eternity. Nothing is worth holding on to in this world.
2 Cor. 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
It’s all about perspective.
The earthly, here and now isn’t so valuable when compared to the spiritual, heavenly things of Yahweh. As the hymn says, “and the things of earth grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”.
Too often we focus on what’s going on in our lives or look at the world and question whether it is worth it. However, if we cannot find joy and strength in our present circumstances, then we can look to our bright future, just as our Savior Yahushua did in His moments of agony and anguish.
Matt. 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Probably some of the most heart-stirring words ever. He gave up His will in surrender to the Father.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Yahushua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stauros, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Yahweh.
We should remember that if all Yahweh did was deliver us from our sins then we ought to be more than thankful. But He also gave us His great and precious promises, including eternal life through His Son Yahushua.
2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of Yahweh and of Yahushua our Master, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
1 John 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of Yahweh! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of Yahweh; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
When we realize that we deserve condemnation and death but He gives us life instead, we see how amazing His love, grace, and mercy is.
1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Romans 5:6-11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Messiah died for the unrighteous. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But Yahweh demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to Yahweh through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in Yahweh through our Master Yahushua Messiah, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
The sad thing is, many people do see the value in giving up $800 (or more) for a recliner’s earthly comfort, but they do not want to give up themselves and humbly walk with Yahushua for far, far greater eternal benefits.
May we have the right perspective and see that serving Yahweh is not only worth whatever we give up and go through in this life, but is the only way to have true joy and peace in this life and the next.