Age does have it’s benefits, I think. Although it would be great to have all of this “experience”, AND my youth, in order to take one more crack at this thing called life. Although I’m convinced that on my own, I wouldn’t do appreciably better. Maybe different! But after all of this, I am convinced that just about anything worth doing, anyone worth knowing, involves risk. Risk of failure, rejection, or loss. And to risk anything that is important, tender, or valuable to you, requires courage. Because the thing you fear may happen. That’s part of what makes it valuable, and rare.
I’m learning a little more about this. About speaking the truth, and taking the risk. And so far, with only a few exceptions, things have gone much better than I had expected. And even in the “not good”, good will have been served, and new life created. So in most cases, what I feared didn’t come about. The good I had hoped for DID come about. Seems that this “truth-risk-courage” motif is near at hand, lately. Whatever that means, I am less concerned about the ‘what-ifs” than ever before. Yes, there may be a train wreck around the corner as a result, and only time will tell how I handle that. 🙂 But somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter all that much. I’ve either become more mature in my thinking, developed a clinical condition, or maybe just don’t give a rat’s… whisker. Gotcha. I’m hoping for number 1, although 2 or 3 could be drafting on my back wheel. 🙂
I like what Jesus said to his disciples about those who leave it all behind in Mark 10:17 – 31;
They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
Peter is protesting, I think. “Look Jesus, if you had told us that we couldn’t get in no matter what we did, we wouldn’t have let all of the “real” stuff go. It’s too late, now what?” He could have simply made the mistake of thinking that the rich man is evil, and damned because of his love of money. But he leaped past that to what Jesus was saying, the bottom line. That the rich man loves his money, while the rest of us love something else. And that the Kingdom is not about following the rules, being good, or nice. It’s about something much more essential. It is about who we follow. Who, what and how we love.
Wrestling with that tells me that Love is Divine, and is a Person. I want that, Him, to be my life. And to share that. But this Kingdom is upside down. It works the opposite of how we think it should. Believe it does. The effort, the love, the desire, the motivation all come from a different place. Not from within us. They have already been flowing “INTO” us when we hear and believe. I believe God is granting that gift of life in this. 🙂
But the immediate landscape can look SO DIFFERENT from your certain destination. I find myself wondering, “Do you know what you are doing here? Do you have a clue?” And I have to admit that at times I feel like I am simply wandering.
I’ve spent many days in the woods over the years. And I know that it’s true. If you don’t have an idea of where you are, and how to hold a true course, you will walk a long way only to stare at your own footsteps. That’s a bad feeling, and can cause men to mutter terrible things under their breath… so I’ve heard.
BTW, I think Jesus is just making sure that they (we) realize that it’s not about what they (we) give up, sacrifice, and lay careful plans for. It’s about what He is doing, where He is going, and we are simply following. And when we do that, we will lose whatever we need to lose. And gain everything in the process.
It’s so simple a child could do it, really. But if I use my darned head, I will make it too hard.