What’s It Worth?


I recently began the arduous process of looking for a new vehicle.

I don’t do this frequently. My current truck is a 2003, which replaced a 1992.

Lots to consider with such a major purchase. As I weigh different possibilities I encounter two very different questions.

What’s it cost?

Read the window sticker, check the Internet, make an offer, negotiate. A messy, unpleasant process but in the end the cost is a simple, easy-to-report metric. My new car will cost a (much too large) number of dollars.

But as I decide, I encounter a more difficult, more subjective question.

What’s it worth?

What’s it worth to replace my 14-year-old truck and its 14-year-old disability equipment?

That’s about more than dollars. What’s independence worth to a guy in a wheelchair? As I get a bit older, what’s it worth to have safer, less difficult transfers from my chair? Dependability and accessibility are tougher to quantify but perhaps more important than the number on a sales contract. These questions got me thinking about how I assess worth.

What if money isn’t the best gauge of value? What if the sort of worth that matters can’t be quantified?

I choose to invest lots of my life into bike riding. I crank my bike more than 2000 miles each year. Beyond that I spend a significant part of my time during the year promoting the FREEDOM TOUR.

I can calculate cost, money spent on cycling equipment and the dollars we spend toward the bike tours. I can include, if I wish, the hours devoted to biking and bike tours. But numbers on a spreadsheet don’t make choices. We analyze the data through a lens.

Jesus proposed a different kind of data analysis, balancing investment and kingdom ROI, regarding the cost and worth of discipleship when He advised us to count the cost. “Before you decide, know the real cost and understand the true value of what you receive in return.” Might be a good guide for other choices.

Cost and worth are different and can’t be determined from the window sticker.

The FREEDOM TOUR is pretty inefficient as a fundraiser. We could certainly find better ways to raise money if “dollars” is the metric. How to decide whether all the time, energy, and finances is “worth it”?

Tough to create a spreadsheet that quantifies the benefits of following a God-sized dream. Community. Laughter. Passion. Mystery. Friendship.

Hope.

Is it worth it?

Important question. Important to decide carefully.