My entries are usually written about six weeks before they are published. This one sat scheduled, but unwritten for a long time. It will publish four days from when I write it.
A young man comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to secure eternal life. Jesus asks him a question about his obedience to the Ten Commandments. To his credit, the youth answered, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”
Jesus responds, lifting the man’s perspective, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:20-21)
The passage continues and relates the young man departing, sorrowing.
We often assume the man will not give up his wealth and possessions. Because the scriptures speak to us in different ways at different times, I wonder if something else occurred. Something I’ve felt as I have tried to come to the Lord and receive a hint of validation.
Perhaps the young man sorrowed because he thought he had done everything the Lord asked.
We are well aware the price of discipleship is All. Everything we have had and will have. Everything we were and will be.
I’ve asked many times during the last 18 months why things have happened. Many times I have railed against God in prayer with similar thoughts as this man did: “I have done everything you’ve asked, and I am still not good enough to have most things in my life be positive.”
I have often gone away, sorrowing.
Perhaps I am like this young man, and need my perspective raised. Instead of turning away with disappointment when God says, “there are more things you need to do,” perhaps my reaction should be more considered.
Taking the instruction, knowing it is hard, maybe my reaction should be to tackle a small portion of the next instruction and work at it piece by piece. Eat the elephant one bite at a time, as they say.
The price of discipleship is All. There is no denying this. However, I cannot act as the young man may have, and turn away when I discover All is more than I thought it was.
The fault is with my perspective and interpretation, not with the definition of All.