Lenten Reader | Day 21


And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

- Luke 14:27-33
In much the same way that Jesus tells his disciples (and us) about “building a tower,” it has been my experience that when Accurate designs a heating and cooling system for a person’s house or business, it is important that customer and I know the cost before any work can be done. While accurately estimating the cost of equipment, materials, etc. is critical, it is relatively simple compared to estimating the cost of labor to do the work. The bigger and more complex the job, the more difficult it is to estimate that cost. Estimating the cost of people’s time is an intangible that is critical to the success of a service business. In building a business model in the service industry, people are the foundation for everything which means you have to acquire, develop, and maintain people that can execute the vision and mission of the company. There again the cost of wages, benefits, taxes, etc. is relatively easy in comparison to all the intangibles associated with people’s labor.

This is like God’s plan for His people – to recognize our God given gifts and talents and to apply them in accordance with his plan and purpose for us. While my 45+ years of growing Accurate have been very challenging and many times I wanted to throw in the towel, in reflection I know that God was working on me – I just did not know it at the time. With greater challenges of business and life, I began to take a deeper dive in the faith, searching for understanding. Much like it was for the disciples, it didn’t make much sense to me in the beginning, but the dots started connecting as my relationship with God grew, and the clouds of worry, stress, discouragement, and despair of this world began to fade and the peace, joy and blessings that God promises are replacing them!

While I used to think there was a high cost in taking up the cross or following Jesus, I no longer see it that way, and I’m truly thankful for all he has done, is doing, and will do for me!

-Tom White