I recently took my family to visit my mother in Union City, Tenn. During our many visits with her, it wasn’t uncommon for Mom to have a list of things she wanted done.
During this particular visit, one of those things on her to-do list was yard work. I tackled the mowing while my dad handled the flowerbed. I like plants but lack the artistic vision to pull something off. Dad, on the other hand, was confident that he could handle the project. Whenever he was confronted with a task, Dad always claimed that his superior military training prepared him for everything. I believed his reasoning hook, line and sinker when I was a little boy, but as an adult I seriously doubted the U.S. Army taught him how to plant flowers.
Following a brief discussion with my mom, Dad set off to buy some flowers. He had never been to Union City, so I’m guessing that Dad purchased the plants he wanted at the first place he could find. Dad returned to mom’s house and worked on that flowerbed as hard as I worked on the yard. He completed one side of the house, and I must admit that it looked pretty good.
“The army,” Dad replied when pressed to for information about when and where he gained his gardening knowledge,
“So they taught you how to kill and how to design a flower bed?” I asked.
“Yep, they sure did.”
It turns out that toward the end of his military career, Dad changed duties. He supervised the base gym and golf course. Dad had to make both places look nice, and planting flowers was part of that process.
Dad left me standing in the yard wondering what was true and what was hyperbole. The flowers might be true, but I was still certain that one of his assignments wasn’t in flight missile repairer.
Dad left the house a second time for more plants. This time, he found the same plants for a fraction of the cost. Dad completed the flowerbed, but it bothered him that he paid too much for the flowers. He went on and on about it, so much that I started using the phrase “too much for the flowers” to describe over-payment of any kind.
My daughter once purchased a tee shirt from clothing store and received a discount by filling out a credit card form. It seemed like a good deal to her at the time, but by the time she finished buying that tee shirt on credit it cost her $100 dollars. The natural consequences were punishment enough, but I clarified to her how that experience is really what some of the pitfalls of life are all about – she paid too much for the flowers.
As a nation, we pay too much for our flowers time after time again. A few more states recently made it legal for same-sex couples to marry. I am of the opinion that once we start to accept and redefine marriage as a nation, we are paying too much for the flowers. What is right shouldn’t be based on majority opinion, especially when those votes are coming from a morally broken compass. The passage of Roe vs. Wade was too much for the flowers.
I am reminded of a scripture in the Bible where God states, “You people are burning your children in the fire.” That has never entered my mind. The people at that time thought they were pleasing God. He wasn’t pleased then, and I doubt if He is pleased now.
We are admonished individually and corporately to count up the cost before deciding or beginning an endeavor. We are to look down the road as far as wisdom will allow us and see whether or not we can afford to proceed. If we fail to do so, we could end up making fools of ourselves.
I am persuaded that the last thing we want is to be weighed on God’s scale and come up lacking. If you will, imagine giving your only begotten Son, only to see His ways and His standards rejected. I for one don’t want God to think of me and say, “We paid too much for that flower.”