Broken Legs and Grenades

February 6, 2024

Broken Legs and Grenades


“At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:22, NIV).


I was having a blast in the snow with my grandkids, charging forward to attack our opponents with well-formed snowballs. The edge of the pool was hidden by snow and surprised me, such that I slid onto the cover and heard the snap as my ankle turned inward. I slid on my butt the 20 yards to the house where I let my family help me into a chair. The blue swelling was immediate, but I could bear weight with pain. Though I tried my best to hobble and work this week, Friday came with no improvement—fibular fracture. Folks tell me I need to be more careful running with the grandkids. I tell them, “It was worth it.”


Much of life is governed by our cost/benefit determinations.


Some cost/benefit decisions are very minor, like, “Should I eat a third biscuit?”


Others are much more consequential, like Brennan Manning’s friend during World War II: “One night while sitting in a foxhole, Brennan was reminiscing about the old days in Brooklyn while Ray listened and ate a chocolate bar. Suddenly a live grenade came into the trench. Ray looked at Brennan, smiled, dropped his chocolate bar and threw himself on the live grenade. It exploded, killing Ray, but Brennan’s life was saved.”


My choice to run in the ice with the consequence of breaking my leg was on the minor side of cost, and the benefit of running with my grandchildren far outweighed six weeks in a boot. Not much compared to giving my life for a friend—but all choices matter.


Each day we make decisions for Christ that come with a cost. In some countries today the cost is great, like that paid by Brennan Manning’s friend. Where I live: speaking up for Christ, witnessing to a colleague, passing up a sinful opportunity, forgiving without repentance, giving sacrificially, serving the uninsured, praying with a patient or stranger in need, honoring the Sabbath, spending time daily with the Lord and His Word, fasting in times of fervent prayer, volunteering internationally, sitting on the bed with a dying friend, missing a game to care for a stranger—all come with minimal cost and great benefit; and yet, I often fail to carry through.


We need to get our math right. Anytime God speaks, the benefit is always eternal and the cost is always temporary, even if I break a leg or land on a grenade.


Dear Father,

Please help me recalibrate my cost/benefit determinations, knowing that your will always tips the scales.



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