Different levels of sacrifice leads to different rewards and directions.

“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do!” That’s what I told a new acquaintance last Sunday after he raised a concern on his always-on-the-go work schedule. Back at home, my sister hesitated to join an overnight trip to Quezon Province with high school friends after re-considering if she’ll enjoy there while leaving her two kids at home. At thirty two years old, I’m still single and helping my family financially, going to work night after night–sometimes even if I don’t feel like it–and mostly when my family’s already sleeping.

Sacrifices. We all make them at crucial times of our lives. Some of us need to do it on a regular basis though that it becomes routinely but certainly not ordinary.

Why do we do what we do? Our reasons could all boil down to any or a combination of these:

  • abstract feelings of happiness, success, love etc.
  • money/material things
  • family/loved ones
  • God

These “ends” play a vital role in every decision (read: means) we make.

Some people would even go to great lengths to pursue the means to their ends. They go abroad to work or go on mission trips risking the fear of the unknown, enduring the pain of being departed from their families while others give up their prized possessions (time, money etc.) in exchange of their reward.

The gravity of our sacrifices is always weighed down by our priorities and principles filtered through ourperspective, the same factors that carve the path to success and/or significance. The weight and length of your sacrifice shows how much you value the people and things in your life.

If we do not hold strong convictions on these two areas, we will be swayed into different directions by our own emotions or other people making decisions for us. When in doubt, the word “NO” can be a powerful tool eliminating needless sacrifices.

Some sacrifices have to be done now when the situation calls for it…in other words: “Pay now. Play later.” As for me, I’d rather pay the price now rather than potentially suffering more severe consequences later.

This afternoon, after coming out of my night job and attending to an appointment, I visited and prayed for a friend in the hospital even if I’m already haggard. That’s because I treat my close friends as part of my priorities and because it’s my principle to treat them as family.

More than becoming successful by this world’s standards, I am willing to pay the price to live an eternally significant life.

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