Bloomfield Park is a sprawling 600,00-square-foot shopping and office complex, complete with a beautiful fountain, restaurants, and luxury hotel accommodations. The place is amazing.
At least it was supposed to be.
Several years ago, developers began implementation of an impressive shopping village that would also host office complexes and bring several jobs to Michigan’s Oakland County. There were also plans for a large residential space where new homes would be built. However, midway through construction, the project was halted. Parking structures were already in place. Office buildings were being erected, and despite having already spent over $300 million, part of the project team’s financial group backed out.
They didn’t count the cost.
Today, five years after breaking ground, Bloomfield Park stands on the side of Telegraph Road as a monument to failure. A towering illustration of what happens when people begin something without asking the hard questions and considering the full weight of their decisions. I used to drive by this site twice a day, five days a week. Every single time, it captured my attention.
It makes me think about my life, and it reminds me of the words of Jesus.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
(Luke 14:28-30 ESV)
Jesus asked this in reference to discipleship and the real cost of following Him. He never sugar-coated the need for sacrifice. But the implications of this question flow into every area of the human experience. My decisions have consequences, whether good or bad, and they impact the lives of others. This is a heavy truth.
What about you?
- Have you counted the cost of marriage? Married life needs to be about more than sex. It involves placing the needs of another person above your own. Romance is great, but when the fire fizzles, a marriage without substance is doomed to failure.
- What about parenthood? Yes, babies are adorable—most of them. But, consider the fact that parenting means being responsible for the life of another human being. The things you do, or don’t do for that matter, have lasting effects.
- Career? We spend the majority of our lives at work. What starts as a means to earn a living can easily become an idol to worship. The pursuit of riches is a destructive endeavor that leaves countless lives in ruin.
- Have you thought about forever? It doesn’t matter if you catch a falling star, travel the world, or get more friends on Facebook than Zuckerberg himself. If you overlook the eternal ramifications of living a life without God, when you breathe your last breath, it will all be for nothing. Is it worth it?
There are many costs associated with building a life. Paying them up front is challenging, but it’s easier than paying in the end. Don’t let your life become a monument to failure that others pass by and mock. Count the cost, and build a life of value.