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The High Cost of Living

Reflecting on life is something I tend to do more often these days. As I do, I remember times where my poor choices carried considerable consequences. Those choices would impact my life for decades and cost me more than I could have ever known.


“The high cost of living” can be seen in the missed opportunities and broken relationships. It is in moments of contemplating the cost I feel the most distress.


I began paying the price for my choices at a very young age. As I have written about in my books, I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of thirteen. This led me to bad choices and destructive behaviors throughout the early years of my life. Ultimately leading me to dropping out of school in eleventh grade and joining the military.


The cost I paid was more than just a failure to complete school. I left all those I cared about because I couldn’t see how much I cared. This has led me to realize other people’s lives are also impacted by the choices we make.


You see, “the high cost of living” is paid by those we love as much as it is by us.


Today, I know many people who have come through similar circumstances after having paid a heavy cost for living the way they chose to live. The regret I see and hear when I to talk to these folks is deep, as the remorse they feel literally haunts them every day.


This gives credence to the song by Jamey Johnson which says, “the high-cost living, ain’t nothing like the cost of living high.” This is one of the most profound statements I have ever heard regarding the price that can be paid for spending our lives seeking to escape our reality through addictions.


The cost of living high is easily seen as lives are devastated and shattered all around us every day.


The cost I paid was minimal compared to the price many I know have paid and some are still paying today. I believe what we all have in common is the idea, if I can get high enough, I can escape whatever it is I am going through, have been through or am running from.


This is a lie is because what we can never escape or outrun, is ourselves.


I understand the many factors can contribute to a life of living high. Among those may be dysfunction in our families or past hurts and abuses we have experienced. I also have become increasingly more aware, regardless the choices I make are mine and their results are also mine.


The time wasted and the relational equity lost were significant in my pursuit of living high. The beauty is time can heal all wounds and I can choose to live differently at any time.


So, when we are faced with the choice of living or living high, we must choose wisely. Because the cost will always be more than we ever wanted to pay.


Today, I have discovered there is a “high cost of living” I will happily pay. It is the higher calling we all have on our lives. This calling is from a Savior who wants us to know, living out this calling is where can find joy in this life.


As with everything however, we get to choose to answer this call or not.


Knowing this has led me to break through the barriers of life and the dysfunction that was before me. Though I am still a work in progress, now I know, “the high cost of living” is worth the cost of not getting high.


For all my brothers and sisters who struggle with addictions of all kinds, I pray you find your way to Jesus and a life that is worth the cost we pay for every moment we get to live it!


James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.



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