Knowing when the price is right

“What is smart at one price is stupid at another.” _Warren Buffet


In my younger years I spent hours playing baseball and softball. I loved the game. Somehow, even as a family man with a demanding job I still found time to sag balls and take batting practice with the guys, and play a couple of games a week.

The justification was easy. It provided a way to stay in shape (at least that is what I told myself). As a pastor I was spending time with the men and boys under my care and my wife and children were usually with me enjoying hanging out with the other families.

It was a win/win, a good investment of my time (life).

The price was right.

But then there came a day when the price became to high.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget the moment. It was a night game and I was playing first base. The batter hit a high spinner that came off the end of the bat. I staggered behind first base looking up into the lights trying to find the ball. There was a time that this would have been like taking candy away from a baby (not that I’d ever do that), but that night it was different.

It had been becoming different for sometime.

The truth was the price to play was changing. I still enjoyed the game but the mojo was no longer there like it used to be. It was more of a duty than a joy. My back complained. My busy calendar complained. The younger men who wanted to play, nice enough to do it behind my aching back, complained. The price to play was going up.

I ignored the ever-increasing price for a long time but that night, staggering around like a drunken sailor looking up into the night sky through trifocals trying to catch a foul fly, the price got to high…

I missed the ball.

It hit the edge of my glove and fell to the ground. I was mortified, stunned and embarrassed. It was a catch I had made a thousand times back when the price was right. But the price had changed and I knew it.

After the inning was over I took myself out of the game and have never played again. No regrets. For me, playing at a subpar level is just too high a price. There are so many other things that come at a far better price.

Every season and every opportunity has a shelf-life and then the expiration date kicks in and after that, no matter the price, it’s to high.

What about you?

What price changes are you ignoring?

Are you one of those guys or gals who is still trying to hang on too long? You are average (or worse) at being 20 or 30 but you’d be great at being 40 or 50?

You can only do “young” for so long and then its time to grow up.

You can stay to long. You can waste your life doing good things, familiar things, and even worthy things…but oh the price you’re paying.

There’s only so many Christmases to enjoy with your toddlers.

There’s only so many spring breaks before you children head out into the wide, wide world.

There’s only so many years left to spend with your sweetheart that you married way back when.

There are only so many days left in your life. And to spend them unwisely is not only stupid, but a tragedy.

The ONE THING for today:

Every season and every opportunity has a shelf-life and then the expiration date kicks in and after that, no matter the price, it’s to high.

I took this picture in Hoven, SD (population approx. 400) on a beautiful October day. Rising up from this little village and prairie is this majestic church – St. Anthony of Padua (Cathedral of the Prairie). Some might say that the price was to high, but not if your God is big and glorious enough.

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