I am at a Canon Law Convention in downtown Indianapolis right now and just noticed a sign on the desk in my room that has this room service called “Service Express” where I can get a Coke for just $4.25. And the parking here is about twice the cost of what it is just a block down the road per day (I moved my car). For some people the amount isn’t a concern, for others of us we immediately think of what else you could or have paid for that amount or that we could have gotten it for much less. Hopefully what it makes us think about is how important something is to us and why, what is its value?
Now some of us can overdo this, and lose the concept of what we are getting, or that we really can afford something sometimes and we shouldn’t be so cheap. But that stuff is all related to monetary value, and at times we can just believe that is our only way to measure value, and yet we know that isn’t true. Time is another commodity that we use to show a value, how much time are we willing to put into it, what do we spend our ‘free time’ on, who do we give our time to? Now how about something a little more vague, like our reputation or integrity, how important are they to us? That is a bit harder to quantify how much something is helping or hurting our reputation or integrity, but they are things that we do value I hope.
What about relationships? Those are things we use all of the above for, money, time, reputation, integrity, would we risk them or do we expend them on certain relationships? Some more than other, the ones we truly value. There are certain aspects of relationships that we realize we would give any amount of money, or it would take priority over anything else if our time was needed. Where would we put our faith in this? Our relationship with God?
I think this is one of the benefits that can come from running into a $4.25 can of Coke. I’ve actually probably paid more for that at a ball game and restaurants at times, but we need little things to help us question what our values are at times. Hopefully it doesn’t just end in a monetary value judgment, but we continue and consider what really matters to us, what are the things we will trade for others, and what are the things that are beyond those type of values, to remind us to be sure we live that way.