I am not talking about the spritual notion of following Christ when Jesus challenges his disciples to give their all in order to follow Him. But it is part and parcel of following Christ nonetheless even for those who have forsaken all to follow Him because we still live in the world and the cost of living in the world will only increase during the end times before Jesus’ second coming. Knowing that I may be entering a phase of my life as semi-retired or free-lancing, I needed to count the cost literally. So from 1st December I have been noting down every ringgit I spend whether it is at the petrol pump or ta pao lunch or dinner. After more than 50 days of doing that each day and trying to keep costs down and thinking about spending money just on essential items like food and petrol.
I am in an enviable position of almost debt free which means my residence is fully paid up but even maintaining a house is costly like house rates assessment, taxes and stamp duty when the bank loan was paid up. Cars also need repairs from time to time and both of my cars are not new, one in 10th year and one in 7th year. Perhaps I thought to myself I could survive on my December pay cheque but I realise in the last couple of years my itinerant ministry provided some extra cash. When I did not preach last Christmas, so income wise I suffered. If you don’t work you don’t eat is also a biblical principle. There is no such thing as bonus or 13th month salary where I work. No wonder my colleagues with young children or children in Secondary school take whatever speaking invitations that come their way. Well and good if you are in your 30s or even 40s when one is still strong. A number of pastors have passed away recently and I don’t know whether too much travel and preaching here and there had added to the stress and made worse any health issues they faced. At the end of January I will add up my expenses for the two months of record keeping and I will divide it by two and get the average cost of living expenses per month in Kota Kinabalu.