Several weeks ago, while scrolling through facebook I found a leather band I really liked on an online jewellery site. I like things with a message or a meaning attached to them, and so this black leather band with the words ‘strong and courageous’ engraved on a silver metal plate, seemed to be for me. And yes you can ask: “Why?”
Because some time back a friend likened these words in the book of Joshua to me. At a time when I certainly didnt ‘feel’ it, as I struggled to hold it together while everything in my world crumbled around me. Then at another time, while listening to a message by my Pastor about stepping it out (right at the time I was contemplating a business venture) and again this was the scripture! It struck me like a slap to the back of my head. So while I don’t see myself as having either of these qualities . . . apparently I do. And so I figure I should remind myself of this . . . and build on them, within myself.
I’m fighting for strength and courage.
What are you fighting for?
So when I saw this website promotion, I investigated further. I scoured through their range and came back to this piece. But I don’t usually wear black, I’m more of a brown colour person myself. But in this case, the black didnt deter me, as I felt that this was more about the message it carries, than the material it is made of. So I went ahead with the order only to discover that that black leather band was $48. Eek! That’s more than I would usually spend! But sometimes it’s more about the engraved words, than it is about it’s perceived worth. Then $16.95 for postage! Again, sometimes it’s more about the piece, than it is about the price. But the price is creeping up . . . and up! Then onto the last page of the order process: the ‘Thankyou your order has been confirmed’ page. And there it is, the disclaimer: ‘Please note that sometimes international orders incur additional customs/import fees for which we are not responsible for.’ Ohhhh beware the ‘prickles’ that did arise that this piece of information would only appear on their page after the order has been placed, and not before. While I understand they’re not responsible for the additional charges, I find it somewhat ‘sneaky’ to only inform the buyer of this after they make their purchase.
So then it was to wait for the deduction from my card to see what this amount would be . . . $91.92. So that’s $26.97 in additional fees for being non American. Grrr!!! I felt manipulated. I felt misled. I felt ripped off. And now I felt trapped having placed the order, paying the price above and beyond what I thought, wondering if it was all going to be worth it or not? I contemplated cancelling my order, but instead I went to their FB site to see what feedback was there in the comments. Was I the most recent in a long line of ‘suckers’ to incur such ‘additional’ costs? But then . . . not one single negative comment (and maybe the comments are configured that way) but ultimately the theme through all the comments that were there, from both ‘first time’ and ‘multiple times’ buyers was that each piece is totally worth every dollar of the expense. EVERY dollar of the expense? I questioned. Mannn! ! ! They must be good! Better than I imagine maybe??? Really? But have they paid what I paid? Are there any Aussies amongst those comments? So I revised my perspective: those who have paid the price and then received the piece, are extremely thankful. I on the other hand have paid the price, and am now waiting (somewhat anxiously) to see if the piece proves to be worth the price. And so now I wait . . .
Sometimes experiences on the journey of life seem to cost more than we expected . . . we may feel manipulated, misled, ripped off, by people or even God, only to then feel trapped in the middle of the process. And so we wish we could cancel choices, like I wanted to cancel my purchase.
Through such experiences, sometimes our message, our meaning gets lost in the material of life. Sometimes the words that we thought were so significant, seem to no longer carry weight in their worth as we once thought. Sometimes we perceive the price we paid in totality is not ultimately worth what it was for . . . and so we cancel the order, cut any losses, walk away, and give up, without ever seeing the process through. Never knowing that if we had just stuck with the ‘order’ and gone through the process, to actually receive the piece, we might have come to see that it was actually all worth it in the end.
Don’t let your colour, or who you are,
your perceived worth, or the cost (expected or not),
stop you from delivering the message you carry,
that message that is engraved into your very being . . .
(said the black leather band)
So in both this jewellery order, and in life itself:
- I hold onto the hope of those before me. Those who have paid the price, who stuck with the ordering process to receive their piece, who now proclaim: “It’s worth every bit of the price I paid!”
- As for how much they paid to warrant their resulting comments, the price is different for everyone. We each have to weigh that up for ourselves. But we’ll never know, if we don’t see the process through to the end.
So be strong and courageous! Your answer to: “Is it worth it?” is in receiving the outcome . . . if you’ll just stick with the process all the way through to its completion.
It’s now some weeks later . . . and I’ve received my order.
There was great anticipation as I opened the box, to find a velvet bag, out of which I removed my purchased piece . . . and to be totally honest . . . I was disappointed, as it wasnt any better than I imagined. Yes! It’s nice and of good quality. Was it worth what I paid for it? No! Would I buy it again? Actually, I would! Why? Because after wearing it for the first time, and then moreso after the second time, I realised just how much it really is more about: the message than the material, the words than the worth, the piece than the price. “How?” I hear you ask . . . and here it is . . . Because in the putting on of that leather band around my wrist, it’s not like any other jewellery I wear. I cant explain it any other way, other than to say:
I feel myself literally putting on strength and courage,
that I would be ‘strong and courageous’.
I’m choosing to ‘put on’ a statement of declaration about
who I want to be, and who God encourages me to be.
And while I still dont ‘feel’ it, I’m wearing it anyway,
that I might learn it, to know it, to one day actually be,
strong and courageous!
Worth is about perspective!