Last night, I explained to my sister how my new 5:30 AM wake up routine meant that I have lost my night life. I was snuggling up in bed at 8:30 PM before even my children were sleeping. She quoted someone I can’t remember (can you? Maybe Tom Brokaw?) who said:
“Sometimes to get a great thing, you have to lose a great thing.”
All morning, I’m reminding myself that every yes is a no somewhere else. The great thing I want means a loss somewhere else.
And this is perfectly reasonable, good, and right.
Marriage, children, working part-time, waking up early–there are losses associated with these choices. But nobody talks about them enough. Nobody tells you what it will feel like to get the great thing you want. They don’t talk about what you will lose in the getting of it. Maybe if we did, we could understand more fully the weight of our decisions and the flip side of every “yes.”
What great loss do I need to consider, weigh, and let go of? I’m reminded of what it costs me to embrace God, marriage, children, my health, my work, my community with radical commitment. When things cost me nothing, are they really great things?
Living with flair means that sometimes to get a great thing, I will lose a great thing. And that’s what makes it a great thing.