Thursday, July 8, 2010

To Get a Great Thing, You Have to Lose a Great Thing

Last night, I explained to my sister how my new 5:30 AM wake up routine meant that I have lost my night life.  I was snuggling up in bed at 8:30 PM before even my children were sleeping.  She quoted someone I can't remember (can you? Maybe Tom Brokaw?) who said:

"Sometimes to get a great thing, you have to lose a great thing." 

All morning, I'm reminding myself that every yes is a no somewhere else.  The great thing I want means a loss somewhere else.

And this is perfectly reasonable, good, and right.

Marriage, children, working part-time, waking up early--there are losses associated with these choices.  But nobody talks about them enough.  Nobody tells you what it will feel like to get the great thing you want.  They don't talk about what you will lose in the getting of it.  Maybe if we did, we could understand more fully the weight of our decisions and the flip side of every "yes."

What great loss do I need to consider, weigh, and let go of?   I'm reminded of what it costs me to embrace God, marriage, children, my health, my work, my community with radical commitment.  When things cost me nothing, are they really great things

Living with flair means that sometimes to get a great thing, I will lose a great thing.   And that's what makes it a great thing.  


Elizabeth White said...

Good post. I keep trying to remind myself of this as I am about to add a new baby to our life, and worry about the cost that will involve to Fiona. Of course there will be a cost/loss to her, but hopefully the benefits of that new sibling, a forever friend for her, will greatly outweigh the costs! Similarly, I think this often when thinking about my current decision to be a SAHM. Sure there are costs involved with not having a career, but what great benefits too!!

Anonymous said...

Very thought-provoking post, Heather. (Found you in the comments @ Pioneer Woman) Radical commitment to all the great things you named, in the order you named them, will require loss in some other area. But, oh, the fruit of God-pleasing choices will be wonderful to behold in the future! Blessings on your day!

Signed, A Christian 58 yo woman, married 32 years, former SAHM of 3 college-educated, married kids