The Fool at Work, by Katie Snipes Lancaster
“If one of you wanted to build a tower, wouldn’t you first sit down and calculate the cost, to determine whether you have enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when you have laid the foundation but couldn’t finish the tower, all who see it will begin to belittle you. They will say, ‘Here’s the person who began construction and couldn’t complete it!’ Luke 14:28–30
Reflection: Here is a parable for project managers, financial advisors, and real estate professionals. If you want to build a new skyscraper (or just renovate a kitchen in a two bedroom apartment), figure out the path ahead first, calculate the cost, and make sure you can get the deal done before starting out. If you don’t look at the big picture beforehand, you may end up not able to complete the project. Without proper planning, you may be ridiculed, mocked, discredited, or banished from the business altogether.
Okay, message received. But what is Jesus getting at? This parable is set in the context of a larger conversation about the cost of discipleship. He has told his disciples that following him may mean great sacrifices. You may end up traveling substantially, being away from your family, spending time with the discipleship team instead. You may end up spending down your own wealth pursuing God’s vision of justice and peace. You may run the risk of losing prestige, status, or honor. You may find yourself up against the powers-that-be (who love and protect the status quo) as you seek to love God and neighbor. “Look down the path ahead of you,” Jesus is telling us. “Do you really want to be one of my disciples?” Jesus is asking us. It takes real risk. Can you see the big picture before you “break ground” on this construction project building the kingdom of heaven here on earth?
Set your sacrificial love in our midst,
so that we might, with boldness,
sacrifice some part of ourselves
to your here-and-now kingdom.