My pastor told the story of a man falling off a cliff and grabbing a branch. As he held on for dear life, the man cried out to God, and God said, “Trust me. Let go.” I’m not sure how the story turned out, but I do know it doesn’t make much sense when there’s this thing called gravity.
Truth is I’m not sure what makes sense these days. So many voices ringing in my ears.
Wear a mask but don’t because it might cause lung problems, Stay at home, away from others, but beware of lonliness. A vaccine will save the day, but it too might be dangerous. If you have a sniffle stay home, but remember to pay your mortgage on time. Back and forth, back and forth. It makes my head spin! Who can make sense of it all?
Some days I leave the house determined to never take my mask off and wash my hands a gazillion times. Other times I find myself in the middle of the grocery store without my mask feeling guilty because my forgetfulness might be spreading invisible germs. Do we go to see family we haven’t seen in over a year? Some we may not get the chance to see again. Does it make more sense to stay home? How do I live faith and common sense at the same time? If I have to ask this question do I have any faith at all?
I read scripture words long before the sun comes up.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him.Mark 10:17-21 (NIV)
Wait? What? Jesus looked at him and loved him. How did I miss this before? Before Jesus answered the man’s question, before he invited him to sell all his worldly posssessions and join the gang, Jesus looked at him and LOVED him.
Poor rich young ruler got a bad rap because wealth is something we all experience to some degree.
If you are still reading these words your are rich to the one who is illiterate. A good night’s sleep is wealth to the one who tossed and turned all night. Children with parents are wealthy beyond imagination to the orphan, and the opportunity to work is more than many have this Monday morning.
Is Jesus calling us to somehow let these go? How does it make sense to walk away from the wealth God’s given?
I’m beginning to believe faith doesn’t make much sense. It didn’t to Abraham or Moses or Esther. It certainly didn’t make sense to the discples as they watched the rich man walk away.
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”Mark 10:24-27
Here’s the deal (as my oldest often says): whatever wealth we have, whatever Jesus calls us to let go of probably won’t make sense to us. That “whatever” won’t be the same as our neighbor’s because this isn’t about hard, fast religious rules. It’s not about having no wealth. It’s about holding onto “this makes sense” wealth with tight fisted hands, and refusing to let go.
Love invites us to do things differently. To let go when we want to hold tight, to give way when we want to have it our way, and to serve when we want to be served.
This is the way of faith. This is Jesus’ way. It doesn’t make sense, but let me tell you what it does do.
It makes us free.
Free to let go of the whatever we’re holding onto and accept Love’s invitation,