Saturday, July 11, 2009


"If you want to give it all you've got," Jesus replied, "go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me."

Fiction is such a powerful tool. It's exceptionally easy to tell someone exactly what they need to hear, straight on. It's a whole other to teach the principles behind what you are saying. Something about stories captures the imagination, and roots itself deeply in our memories. Be it that we should look deeper than a title (Aladdin), or that we should never get caught up in worshipping an object, rather than God (The Last Battle), they teach us lessons in ways that engrain themselves on our psyche.

It never ceases to amaze me, then, the unrecognized allegories that surround us everyday. I'm in the process of reading through The Lord of the Rings, and the company has just entered Moria. The fear that besets each of them before they enter through that gate is so... familiar. They've tried another path and were blocked by an unseen force, and so they have to pick a much more dangerous path, or give up.

As they travel through, there is an overarching sense of dread. Like holding your breathe after entering the water and not knowing when you're going to come up for air again. Each step is another towards their impending doom. Each step is a necessary one if they are to complete their mission, and thus makes the risks worthwhile.

Occasionally I pause in moments like these and wondering to myself, what sort of missions are guiding my footsteps. Is it the pursuit of money? Fame? Friends? More and more... stuff? I am so easily distracted from my original intent, so easily pulled back onto the path for the Wraiths to find me.


I'm sure that's exactly how the rich young man felt after coming to Jesus showing a deep sign of devotion and being left wanting. Imagine what that must have been like. You step out in a crowd of people, positively shimmering with religious zeal to follow this God-man, and in an instant he unravels your entire being and leaves you naked and exposed before this crowed. Most embarrassingly, he just asked the pointed questions, the decision was in your hands the entire time.

This story stands out to me as a tree amidst the Serengeti because of how relevant it is. There is nothing disingenuous about either side here. The man truly wants to follow Jesus, and in turn Jesus tells him what it will cost. Everything. Nothing on earth, everything in heaven. "Put your trust entirely in me," Jesus says.

Miniscule. That's how big I feel when I ponder how much I'm asked to give up related to how much He did give up. Everything. Nothing in heaven, everything on earth. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to.

I wonder if I'd be willing to pass through the darkness of Moria. My desire is that I'd be willing to go to the ends of the earth, but when the rubber hits the road, would I? If He asked me to give up everything to follow Him, would I?

Priorities shining like a noonday sun.

Help me to put all of them on You. Help me to put all my treasures in heaven, nothing on earth.

No comments: