Cost: (n) the price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish, or maintain anything:

Every once in a while, when I get in a high-minded way, I start considering what I might share with God if He asked me where I thought there funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
could be improvements in the entire universal scheme.

Of course, when I get right down to specifics instead of just general bitching and put a piece of paper in front of me, I actually have very little to suggest—especially anything that would be tinted with consequence.

Yet I do think it might be beneficial if the entire Earth were similar to a department store. In other words, all the opportunities, temptations, doors, windows, possibilities and passing surprises would arrive before our eyes, with a price tag attached.

After all, that’s the nice thing about a department store. If you eyeball something you like, you can immediately forego an impetuous buy through gazing at the price tag and realizing that it’s just too much. Or, to your delight, you are overwhelmed to discover that it’s a bargain as you toss it into your cart and rush to the checkout counter.

Life doesn’t work that way. Life advertises, pushes, thrusts forward, teases, taunts—never forecasting or even giving a hint of what the price might be if you or I grabbed the item and made it our own.

In other words, if you’re obese and you went into a bakery and saw a twelve-inch apple cobbler, there could be a tag attached which would read, “Enjoy. It will cost you two weeks of living.”

That pack of cigarettes in the store that screams at the fifteen-year-old kid for attention because he saw someone smoking in a movie would have a little warning sign on the front of its logo, explaining, “Smoke ’em if you got ’em, but if you stay with ’em, you will die twenty years earlier than if you avoid ’em.”

Men and women who prance around looking for reasons to be unfaithful might be adorned with sandwich boards displaying words like, “Loser! Cranky! Really bitchy! Gonorrhea! Mentally unstable!” Or “Likes to hit women.”

No such cost is made available to us as we journey on, in a darkness of ignorance.

It is the reason that this simple author believes in the Spirit. Without that guidance from within, poking us in the ribs and telling us to either go forward or quickly step back, we are lions in the jungle without teeth.

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Bargain: (n) a thing bought or offered for sale more cheaply than is usualDictionary B

It is generally reported among the human race that any time we’ve saved a buck we’ve made a “dear” bargain.

I have to admit, I am susceptible to that philosophy but I also have enough memories of failed bargains to be a little leery of continuing to pursue the prospect with great vigor.

After all, nothing is a bargain if it ends up sucking.

There are two things we want in life, and two things only:

  1. We want what we desire
  2. We want it to work

Anything less than that will leave us disgruntled, even if it was less expensive.

I have often seen my fellow-travelers show me a product they purchased, touting the great deal they got, only to lament their dissatisfaction over its lack of quality.

So is it better to spend a bit more for what you desire, to plug it in and have it work?

I think that’s the definition of maturity.

It’s why I spend a little more time deciding to shop, and much less time actually shopping. Because once I do go, I know what I want and the price tag is secondary to my preference.

With that in mind, let us understand that politics is no bargain. It does not give us what we want, and honest to God, it does not work.

Entertainment is often no bargain. I need to be inspired and energized, but often walk out at the mercy of the director’s dementia.

Religion is no bargain. I desire happiness now and ecstasy in heaven–and they give me present misery and a “maybe” on the afterlife.

So for all you bargain hunters or people who spend three hours clipping out $18 worth of coupons (that’s $6 an hour in labor) let me tell you that I am reluctant to join your club.

My heart’s desire is too important to me, and making sure something actually works is too necessary to my well-being.


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