The Cost of Convenience

3.01.2013

I love the smell of fresh bread, hot and soft right out of the oven.

I'm often amazed that some people never get to experience this small piece of homemade goodness. In today's society it's far more common for families to buy a loaf of bread at the grocery store than endeavor to make their own. Fresh bread takes time and planning. You have to mix it, let it rise, shape it, bake it, and of course clean up the mess. The package on the shelf at the grocery store is simply more convenient.




We often look to convenient things to ease our burdens. We seek after things that free our time and allow us to do more and move faster. We like convenience, so much so that we often stop asking ourselves if convenient really is better.

We run out to the store to replace things when the newness has worn off instead of taking the time to mend and fix what we have.
We run to the bank for a loan instead of taking the time to save the money ourselves.
We run out for fast food instead of taking the time to come home and cook a meal that is both satisfying and healthy.
We run ourselves right to the couch, enjoying the ease of entertainment instead of taking time for more productive pursuits. 

We run, run, run, ourselves right into the arms of convenience, but at what cost?

We are willing to sacrifice our health, our homes, and our happiness for the sake of having a little more money, a little more time, and little more fun.

Of course, not all convenience is a bad thing. I'm not suggesting that there isn't an appropriate time and place for these things.  In fact, if it wasn't for the convenience of my washer and dryer, I wouldn't have the time to write this post today!

However, we need to step back and ask ourselves what worldly convenience really cost. Whether it's sacrificing time with our families for a second income, sacrificing nutrition for fast and easy meals, or sacrificing godliness for the ease of entertainment and materialism, convenience costs something, and we each have to decide for ourselves what price we are willing to pay.

And when that price is too high, I think we'll start to see the beauty of hard things. We'll cling to those things which demand our time and energy, which test our patience and self-control because we know that easy isn't always better.  Whether it's in the simplicity of homemade bread or the challenge of raising children, the shortcuts the world offers are often lacking in the blessings and abundance that we long for. 

Convenience is easy, but sometimes the hard things bring more joy.

5 comments:

  1. This post reminded me of the sourdough starter I have sitting in my fridge waiting to be made into my first (hopefully good!) loaf of sourdough bread. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I don't think (most)conveniences replaces hard work. Used properly, it is a tool to invest our times and talents elsewhere.

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  3. I agree - there are no shortcuts for some of those most important things. Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. I liked this post so much last week that I posted some thoughts of my own on the same subject. http://healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com/2013/03/frugal-friday-cost-of-convenience.html Thanks again.

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