by Micah Nagy
It’s really just a choice. A choice to forgo one thing, for another. To let go of something, to gain another… usually something deemed more worthy than whatever the cost was.
There are so many choices to be made in life…. Chocolate chip, or rocky road? Waking up, or sleeping in? To go to college, or to continue a career?
Okay, trivial as these choices may sound, I’ve been hung up lately on some of the choices I’ve been making… and in some cases, just downright disappointed in myself. For example, I want to eat healthier, yet after a long 12-hour shift at work, those brownies with chocolate icing just look sooooo gooood! And that’s a choice that doesn’t line up with the end goal that is of much more worth to me: a healthier body and a healthier lifestyle.
Which is sort of a minor thing, but the more that that happens, the more disappointed in myself I become, because I can’t seem to make choices that line up with the things I value. It seems that my choices are very self-centered, very NOW-centered—what will make me happy or feel good NOW.
Here’s another example: some friends want to get together for a night on the town. Haven’t seen these friends for a LONG time! Super excited! Except for when it comes time for our gathering, plans change in the slightest, I find out that I’ll be needing to drive 30 minutes to get there (and therefore, 30 minutes back) and you know what?
“I just don’t feel like it.”
I just don’t FEEL like it.
You see, some part of me just wants things to be fair. I wanted those friends to compromise and meet me halfway, instead of meeting just around the corner (for them) and across town (for me). Shouldn’t it be that way? It’s only FAIR… right?
That—that right there was me being SELFISH. Because I wanted them to do things my way. Because I didn’t want to have to “suffer” and make the drive.
And after we had decided that we would postpone the hangout, I found myself twiddling my thumbs at 8:38 p.m., wondering what I was going to do with my Saturday night… because I had been unwilling to make the sacrifice and just DRIVE.
I then found myself lonely, wishing that I would have just jumped in the car and driven to be with my friends. What’s so bad about driving? I LOVE listening to music, I get to roll the windows down, clear my head, pray or think or sing at the top of my lungs. Why was I so adamantly against that? I was disappointed in myself for my choice, and frustrated that it was so important for me for things to be equal, fair, amongst us. That it seemed more of a burden for me in the moment, and how could they expect so much of me after already being gone for 13 hours of my day? MY day. Asking for 30 minutes of drive time, now that’s just a big sacrifice at this point….
But when I think about the word sacrifice… I think about the Cross.
And what was fair or convenient about that?
Jesus Christ laying down his life, suffering the worst death imaginable, ridiculed and humiliated, all for sinners like me and you. The only perfect man ever to walk the earth, completely undeserving of death, completely holy, pure, and blameless… and yet he chose to suffer a horrendous death, to allow His children to be saved and reunited with Him forever in Heaven. And He knew it was coming! He KNEW, from the very beginning, and yet He willingly made the choice to pay for our sins on the Cross. The ultimate sacrifice. He loves us THAT MUCH.
So the ironic part?
A few days later, as I’m making plans for some different friends to come over for dinner, I realize that even with my last-minute text that day, my friend and her beau (who probably, definitely live at least 20-25 minutes away) agreed to come over with absolutely no hesitation at all. It’s a weeknight, I know they’ve been at work all day, and with basically no forewarning at all, they happily cross town, salad bowl in hand, to dine with us.
And it was such a refreshing evening—exchanging new stories and reminiscing on old times, hearing how life is changing for each person at the table. We agreed that my husband and I would come to their apartment next time, and that hopefully it would be soon.
And in truth, I absolutely do hope it is soon. The thought of driving that far for dinner would make me cringe just days ago, but I feel in my heart that there’s been a change.
I’ve learned an important lesson, one that this amicable couple has no idea they were a part in teaching, but one that I will definitely remember.
When you know that something is worth it, you will make the sacrifice in order to get it.
Jesus knew what was on the other side of the Cross. He loved us so, so incredibly much that He made this crazy, amazing sacrifice so that we could have a relationship with Him and be a part of His family forever. Though we did nothing to deserve it, He declared us worthy of this sacrifice.
And on a much smaller scale, my friends demonstrated the meaning of sacrifice to me. They came at almost the drop of a hat, with quite a bit of a drive to and from our house, knowing when they get home, they will probably be heading almost straight to bed for work the next day… just to spend time with us. To be with company they enjoyed. Because it was WORTH IT to them.
Which makes it so simple: what is worth it to me? What is worth sacrificing for?
In the future, will I drive 30 minutes to spend time with friends if the opportunity should arise again? I know each situation will be different, but I’ve learned that time with loved ones—now THAT is worth it.
That is SO worth it. The people in my life are definitely worth a couple gallons of gas and a couple rounds of “Despacito” on the radio. And when you’ve got music that good… can you really even call it a sacrifice??
Micah Nagy is thankful that God is revealing where she is weak, but also teaching her how to be more like Jesus in the process. She resides in Broken Arrow with her amazing husband and two rescue pups, Scooby Doo and Samoa. Their recent hobbies include visits to the dog park and watching episodes of stand-up comedy!