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"You can pay me now, or you can pay me later"

Monday, April 30, 2012

I was reminded of this saying recently. All those years I was in college to become a teacher, and then during all my years of teaching when we'd have inservice trainings, we'd often read books or watch videos by a man named Harry Wong. He was big on teaching procedures to manage your classroom efficiently. He always used that saying when he was talking about either (A) spending the time up front to teach the procedures and then the rest of the year would run smoothly, or else (B) you could save that time and just jump right into teaching but then you'd have discipline problems all year.

I find this philosophy applies to all aspects of life. My husband and I have been reminded of it repeatedly over the course of the past 2 years. As we've worked on our health and fitness, and as we've come into relationship with Christ and grown on our walk with Him, we've been confronted with it time & again. It usually all boils down to having 2 choices. Either you can do what's easy and comfortable right now for instant gratification, or else you can make the tougher choice now that may be harder and usually means delaying gratification, but that leads to a better reward down the line.

It holds true in almost all situations and facets of life - in regards to salvation and following Christ, in managing your finances, in nurturing your marriage, in maintaining or improving your health. It's all about making a choice. That's where Harry's saying comes in, "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." Either way, you DO have to pay. You can be disciplined and make tough choices now that pay off later, or you can take the easy way out now, but you'll always end up paying the price at some point.

I think that's what "wrong" with our society and culture nowadays. We are all about instant gratification, we don't want to wait for anything. * We want to eat right now so we get overweight eating fast food and convenience food that's not good for our bodies, instead of planning ahead & taking the time to cook nutritious meals. * We want new toys & gadgets right now so we go into debt spending money we don't have, instead of waiting and saving (or God forbid, denying ourselves). * We want to feel happiness and pleasure right now so we get into inappropriate relationships while looking for attention and validation from other people, instead of working on any problems we have with our spouses and honoring God's sacred lifetime covenant of marriage. * We want to worship ourselves, or money, or sex, or fame, or power, or pleasure, or comfort, or convenience - instead of claiming Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and surrendering our lives to Him and taking up our cross daily to follow Him.

It's all about choice. We can take the wide and easy path that leads to ruin, destruction, and defeat - or we can take the hard and narrow path that ultimately leads to triumph, victory, and true success. I still struggle at times with my natural tendancy to be lazy and stay comfortable, but I know that in the long run, it's always best to make the hard choice that pushes me out of my comfort zone. After all, that's the only way I am forced to grow and change.
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    As a business major, I was trained to search for the REAL COST of something, which includes the 'opportunity costs' and 'deferred costs' - that goes along with your idea to some degree because when/if we do that type of 'cost analysis' on things outside financial investments, such as our health and life choices, we might see a very different picture! As for the natural tendency to be lazy, there is a slug living inside of me that things it would be perfectly happy lying in bed watching TV all day and eating whatever it wants. However, the 'cost analysis' of what would be involved in that, including the loss of how good it feels to get outside, keeps that slug locked up most of the time. Thanks for making your good points!
    2240 days ago
    thanks for sharing your thoughts
    so very true pay now or pay later
    one day at a time
    2241 days ago
    You make a great point.....

    The only thing I would add is that ... plan on things not going as expected...
    We usually go along life assuming that what we understand is correct,
    and then we get hit with curve balls...and it takes it's toll on us.
    Even when nothing else changes...we change...
    and things that always worked before ...suddenly don't.
    So I guess the bottom line life in the present...
    but be proactive and adapt.
    2241 days ago
    You are totally right! People do choose the easy path for more instant gratification than the one that would probably be better for them in the long run. I have done that so much in my life and am slowly, but surely learning a better way to do things! I also used to believe that if I had money and had all of the latest and best gadgets then I would be happy! What I realized is that when I got rid of a bunch of the stuff that we had, when our lives fell apart a few years ago, I felt a ton of stress get lifted off of me. I'm sure it's not this way for everyone, but simplifying my life and not trying to "keep up with the Jones'" made me a lot happier. I realized that all I need to truly be happy is my kids and Husband. We don't have anywhere near the amount of money that we used to, and sure, I can't afford to do a whole heck of a lot, but we are together and we are doing things to make our lives healthier together!!! Definitely worth it!!! I just need to do a better job of remembering that!!!
    2241 days ago
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