For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first, and count the cost, whether you have sufficient funds to finish it? Lest haply, after you have laid the foundation, and are not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock you. Luke 14:28-29
In 1987, I bought a 21 foot Sea Ray boat. I was really proud it, relishing the admiring looks of people we passed as we hauled it back and forth to launch it, and while on the water. We spent about two years buying that boat. It had to have deep V construction for use on rough water, and it had to be sturdy, reliable, pretty, and functional for fishing and pleasure boating, but most importantly, it had to fit our pocketbook.
We finally narrowed the choice to two boats, a Thompson and the Sea Ray. The Sea Ray was considered the best built boat in its class at that time, but the Thompson had features that we liked better. Either boat would do the job, but ultimately, we bought the Sea Ray because the Sea Ray dealer had come down $7000.00 in price and was still $300 lower than the Thompson. We felt that we got a great deal.
Now there is a saying that the two best days in a man’s life are the day that he buys a boat, and the day that he gets rid of it. Another saying says that a boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into. We had our boat for twenty two years, replaced both the motor and the trailer once, spent a fortune replacing and repairing the brakes on the trailer, bought insurance, and had the expense of winterizing and shrink wrapping the boat every fall. One summer while at the ocean, I did some calculations, and discovered that based on the cost of bait, tackle, fuel and repairs, the fish we caught, cost about a hundred dollars a pound. If I figured in the cost of the boat itself, it was probably one of the most unwise purchases we ever made, because until I retired, we only used it for about four weeks a year at the ocean, and only once in a while at home.
Even with all of that, we felt that the memories and enjoyment we got from that boat with our kids and grandkids, made it worth the cost. If you simply do the math, buying that boat was really costly and not wise, but if you look at the many years it brought our family together, and the pleasure and wonderful memories it gave us, maybe it wasn’t so bad. Yes it cost too much. Yes economically buying it was unwise. And yes, we probably should not have bought it, but I would do it again, because we got from that boat, exactly what we wanted when we bought it.
Everything we do or say has a cost associated with it, and not necessarily in dollars. If we always counted the cost before we act, or buy, or speak, how many ruined relationships, failed marriages, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and even wars, could have been avoided?
The only thing I regret about buying that boat is that I did not acknowledge the Lord before I bought it, but I am certainly grateful that He often produces blessings in spite of my shortcomings.
Fredric E. Jeans, Chaplain,
Kenilworth Care & Rehabilitation Center