Go On or Go Back?
“. . . he went away sad...and went away grieved” Mark 10:22
It’s the refusal of life that makes life tragic. The young ruler went away sad and grieved, not because what Jesus was asking was unreasonable, but he was unready for living a devoted life. He discovered there was a wide gap between his moral sensibilities and his personal determination. Because he was an honest man he didn’t try to avoid the challenge Jesus posed to him. When the young ruler discovered his limit on obedience and willingness to follow, he became filled with uneasiness.
This is where the problem begins. Christ had given him a new vision of what life was really about. The vision he would not follow cast a shadow on his heart. Had he never seen Jesus, he could’ve continued happily in his life of following the rules of his religion.
But having met Jesus, and having felt His grace and freedom, now the young ruler is faced with a dilemma. He must either go on boldly forward, or back to the emptiness of religion. If life is not to be turned into haunting grief, it can only be in following the way of discipleship.
We are challenged by Jesus’ words to take action and with abandonment follow Him in complete obedience. Without hesitation, sell our old ideas and practices to take up the cross and follow into a richer life.
For many, this is a joyous call because faith is intellectual and calculated. We possess a reasoned faith, but our faith possesses us less effectively. Our theology has become too broad to remain deep. Here lies the source of unrest in the breach between vision and the courage to live by faith. There is only one way to heal it.
We must take up Christ’s cross and follow him. We might look for another less costly way, but as a result we will have to suffer more, before, in weariness, we fling ourselves at Christ’s feet. But one thing is certain - when we have given ourselves fully in obedience, we will wonder how we hesitated to hold back so long from following Him. Only then, will we discover the truth and power of the Master’s word, that he who gives up all there is, found a hundred-fold satisfaction.
What in your life needs to be surrendered to follow Jesus?