The Real Question Isn’t “Why?” It’s “Why Not?”

I remember getting the text on a late Friday afternoon:

“I’M [expletive] DOING IT, MAN! I’M [expletive] DOING IT!”

What merited such an exclamation, you might ask? Let’s back-track a little bit….

Just hours before I received this text, I was sitting in a bar with my friend, talking about life and shooting the breeze. The subject changed to our plans for the weekend. I told him I was going to a conference with some friends. Yes, it was a faith-based conference.

“You wouldn’t want to come, would you?” I asked.

After some hems and haws, he replied, “What time do y’all leave?”

“In about two hours.”

“Hmmm. Think I’m gonna have to pass on that one. Thanks for the invite, though.”

Fast forward two hours. Picture me receiving that text (the one with the expletives), feverishly scrambling to sign him up and racing to the departure location to get him squared away before the bus left. He showed up and hopped on the bus (with no expletives added).

Why say yes? Why go?

I think the real question — at least for him — was this: “Why not?”

I later found out that his only plans for the weekend was a packed Netflix-and-PS3 schedule, along with some trips to the local downtown array of…restaurants…in the evenings. His plans sounded fun; my proposal sounded okay. But when he really asked himself whether he should go or not, “Why not?” won out.

What was there to lose? He watched Netflix, played PS3 and hit the bars every weekend. There would be plenty more weekends to do that. So why not take one weekend off and go to this darn conference?

That was my friend’s reaction to an invite for a weekend conference in the middle-of-stinking-nowhere-Oklahoma. Now picture an invite to San Antonio, Texas…right on the River Walk…in a luxury hotel…during Christmas break. Not only would this invite be much more appealing thanks to the location, but because it’s during Christmas break, there’s no studying to worry about either!

Okay, okay — you see what I’m getting at. It’s SEEK, people: SEEK2017. Oh, you’ve heard of it? But you haven’t signed up yet? Why? As I said before, the real question isn’t “Why?” — it’s “Why not?”

You may have a bunch of reasons for why you shouldn’t go. But I bet mine are better:

1. Watching Netflix and playing video games over Christmas break can’t compete with a trip to sunny, 82-degree-weather San Antonio.

Everyone knows that this is what usually happens the days after Christmas and New Year’s. Even if Netflix or PS3 aren’t your taste, there’s bowl games for college football to watch. Might as well move the TV in front of your bed and not get up for a few days. At that point, the fridge and microwave might as well move in too. What great fun.

2. Staying downtown in San Antonio at a discounted rate is way better than paying full price.

It’s true — do a quick Google search. You’ll find that, for the nights of January 3 through 7, most hotels downtown are running around $200 per night. Even if all you were to do was go to San Antonio for vacation, you’re looking at dropping $800+ for the four nights. The total cost of the conference? $429. And that includes lunch. But hey, why get a discount when you could pay full price, right? Oh yeah, and did I mention that the $429 gets you more than just lunch and a room to stay in? Which brings me to the next point….

3. Free concerts and talks by the hottest, most successful folk bands and business speakers.

Two names: 1. The Oh Hellos  2. Pat Lencioni. If you haven’t heard of either of them by now, you’re missing out. But why would you want to listen to either of them for free? As we agreed before, full price is always better than a discount, even if that discount is a four-letter word: FREE.

So think about those reasons running through your head and consider the alternative: that maybe — just maybe — SEEK might be a darn good deal. And then think about sending the same text as my friend to whomever has been bugging you about it.

Maybe cut out the expletives.

Drew Maly
Drew Maly
Drew is a tenth-year missionary with FOCUS, first serving in Kansas and Oklahoma and now serving at the Denver Support Center. He resides in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and five children.

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