In his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John Maxwell talks about the Principle of the Price Tag: We fail to reach our potential when we fail to pay the price. He reminds us that most people who quit don’t give up at the bottom of the mountain; they stop halfway up!
This is the easiest time to quit, but it’s also the worst. Halfway up the mountain — or halfway through any difficult project —after the initial rush adrenaline has worn off and the challenges have become more obvious — it’s tempting to seize any opportunity to bail.
To give in to this temptation, however, is to embrace mediocrity. Quitting halfway up the mountain means we spend more of our time starting over, and less of our time doing great things. Our greatest achievements come with a cost. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.”
One of my favorite quotes is from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi: ”A man can be as great as he wants to be…If you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Paul talked about the price he paid: “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified from the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:26) He’s speaking figuratively — he just finished using a race and a boxing match metaphor. His point is long term success isn’t free and it’s never easy…two things I’ve been I have to constantly remind myself as a pastor. There’s a cost involved.
What price will you have to pay this week to accomplish what needs to be accomplished?
A few less hours of sleep?
One or two skipped meals?
A past due apology? An evening or two without TV?
More time in the Word and in prayer?
There’s a price that often stands between you and what God is calling you to do; it’s a price that only you can choose to pay!
If you’re stuck halfway up the mountain, take some time to consider what prices you’ve neglected pay. And determine to do what it takes to move up the mountain.