I think the call to serve Christ is something far beyond many of us have seriously contemplated. It has nothing to do with a sentimental religion nestled in a comfortable pew with good feeling orchestrated talks from the pulpit. It means courage in the battles of life like one has never exhibited before.
Sir Francis Drake was the renowned English Captain who demolished the great Spanish Armada. I was reading the other day that a friend was chiding an old retired sailor pal of his who had sailed with Drake. He queried him saying: "Well, you haven't amounted to much have you now in your old days". "No, I haven't accumulated much of this world", the old wrinkled salt said, "but I have sailed the high seas and fought the most furious and frightening battles with the greatest Captain on all the high seas" - a noble answer.
Spiritually thinking, isn't that what Christianity is all about - not coming to the sunset with the accumulation of this worldly goods, but having sailed the high seas in our Christian mission with Jesus our Captain. That can be the most costly thing on earth. Jacob fought with the angel of God all through the night and won, but emerged from that fight maimed for the rest of his life. Joseph was victor too, but he spent many lonely years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Paul persecuted the righteous unto death until he was awakened to his ignorance on the Damascene road. His destiny in the aftermath of salvation ruined his entire former prospect in the old life as he suffered untold agonies in stoning, imprisonments and final death. But he would not trade that for all the fame and recognition in his former life. He counted that as "dung". Paul would have said with the old Salt who had sailed with Drake... I have come to nothing but this prison cell and await my destiny, but nevertheless I have sailed the high seas of faith, love and hope with the incomparable Captain of the high seas in the ship of Zion. "I count all thing but loss" for that single experience.
And I ask all us old salts in the sunset of our years who have sailed the high seas with Jesus - isn't that what it's all about?