Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Are You Worth? Featured

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So, what are you worth?  I’m not asking about your financial net worth which you take to the bank in the hope of getting a loan.  I’m asking about you...as a person...a human being...how much are you worth?

For me, Lent has never been about giving up things like chocolate or coffee.  It has always been about “growth.”  So this past Lent, I purchased John C. Maxwell’s newest book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.”  I elected to read it as the author suggests, one chapter per week so that I could take the time to reflect on what I had read before moving on to the next chapter.  With 15 chapters, this excellent book is taking me into the Easter season.

Interestingly enough, I ended up reading the chapter entitled, “The Law of Trade-offs” on Easter Sunday just after having experienced the Good Friday liturgy.

According to Maxwell, every gain we make in this life comes with a price; something we must trade-off in order to move ahead.  Often that which we give up causes us great pain (either real or perceived), but in the end what we gain is worth so much more.  I can recall giving up my addiction to fast food a number of years ago in order to gain control over my weight.  Man, did it ever feel painful at the time.  What I’ve gained (or lost in this case) is so much more valuable.

In this chapter, Maxwell quotes Henry David Thoreau, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

So what’s your house really worth?  Well, how long did it take you to save up for a down payment?  How many trips or nights on the town did you pass up in order to save up?  Now that you have a mortgage, how many hours of each day must you exchange in order to make that monthly payment?  You get the idea.  Money, and what we purchase with it, is really measured in the ‘life’ we exchange to acquire it.

But this isn’t what struck me as I read that quote on Easter Sunday.  I was overwhelmed by the thought of the ‘amount of life’ that was exchanged for mine, for it was no ordinary life that was exchanged; it was Divine Life.

Paul speaks of this Divine Exchange in Philippians chapter two: “Though He was in the form of God...He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave...He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

This was an exchange He didn’t have to make.  So why did He make it?

Paul tells the Romans, “But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (5:8)

It was because of His love for us, His sheer gratuitous love, that He exchanged His divine life for ours. 

What is even more amazing is this:  God lacks nothing.  He doesn’t need to obey the ‘Law of Trade-offs’ like we do.  He didn’t have to give anything up in order to gain anything for Himself.  No, He gave up His life so that we may gain eternal life.  In other words, the ‘Gain’ is ours!

What He did 2000 years ago, He did for us!  We must have such incredible value that the God of the Universe would exchange His life for ours...

So what are you worth as a person?  

I leave you with the words of Henry David Thoreau, “The price of anything (or anyone) is the amount of life you exchange for it.”


Read 11333 times Last modified on Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Patrick Clarke

Patrick Clarke is the Administrator of the Cathedral of the Holy Family.  He is married to Tanya.  Together, they have two children: Ava (7) and Lachlan (4) and they are expecting their third child in February, 2013