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.’ — from Luke, Ch. 14
In early July, I started getting emails from Staples inviting me to purchase a card that would then give me a discount on school supplies. Buy now and save: The classic marketing pitch. The marketing of back-to-school clothes started shortly after that, followed by Target and other stores’ message to “stock up now on lunchbox necessities.” If you took seriously the messaging around preparing for the school year (still over a month away), by August 1st, you’d have so much stuff stockpiled in your pantries, mud rooms, and kids’ desks that you’d have no place for swim suits, Razors, and other summer fun supplies.
And you’d be broke. I wonder what our schools would be like if we gave all — or at least some — of the money we spend on pre-packaged lunch food, fancy new kids clothes, and other “must have” paraphernalia to fund more teachers, offer them more continuing education, and ensure that all schools are safe and beautiful learning environments? I wonder what the hidden cost is of the back-to-school buying frenzy.
I wonder how you “count the cost” as you think through where your money goes this time of year.