Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are not getting anywhere? That your life is stagnating? Everybody’s moving on but you? You would like to experience something, but you still have to do this and that, you don’t have the time and you don’t have any time at all…
We humans are attached to many things. This can be a good thing: there is security and for example certain basic values give our society the necessary structure. It can just as well be a bad thing: “We have always done it this way. Traditions for the sake of tradition. That it is just done.
In the personal sphere, we are also attached to many things. Most of them are attached to their work, their house, their older car, their family, the garden, the club or the community. Some are stuck in power-consuming relationships. Some are stuck in quarrelsome situations or in self-eating envy. Some in their bad habits, which they actually always wanted to change, but then something inevitable came up, then they were too tired, the children disturbed and in general! The prejudice that nothing can change is widespread. I can’t do anything anyway. All this captivates us. We often don’t even realize it, we look for excuses not to have to change anything – and we find them. We hold on to things as long as we can. Whether they take away our strength and time or not.
Throw it away
But sometimes it is time to throw certain things overboard. Because: Full hands cannot receive anything! How can I get my hands on things when I still have an appointment and have to take care of this and that? How am I to follow God with all my heart and do what He says when I still have to weed the weeds and wash the car?
Jesus says something completely different. Here are two stories:
When Jesus wanted to go on, a man ran up to him, got down on his knees and asked: “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life? […] You know his commandments: Thou shalt not kill! Thou shalt not commit adultery! Thou shalt not steal! Say nothing untrue about your fellow man! Thou shalt not cheat! Honor thy father and mother!”Gospel of Mark 10, 17ff
“Teacher,” replied the young man, “I have followed all this from my youth.” Jesus looked at him full of love: “Something is still missing: Go, sell everything you have and give the money to the poor. With it you will gain a wealth in heaven that will never be lost. And then come and follow me!” When he heard this, the man was deeply moved. Sadly he left, for he possessed a great fortune.
When Jesus noticed that the crowd around him was growing, he wanted to let his disciples take him to the other side of the lake by boat. Then a scribe came to him and said, “Teacher, I will go with you wherever you go. Jesus answered him, “The foxes have their dens and the birds have their nests; but the Son of Man has no place to rest.” One of his disciples asked Jesus: “Lord, first let me go home and bury my father. But Jesus replied: “Come with me now and leave it to the dead to bury their dead!Gospel of Matthew 8, 18ff
Pretty crass, right? Why is Jesus so tough here? Or we should rather say: consistent! He says: Let go of everything that prevents you from following me! Because what I can’t let go of, your heart is attached to. And what your heart is attached to, that is your God. And God wants no other gods beside him. Jesus wants to follow the WHOLE heart.
Think for a moment: What would you never give up?
There you have your personal idols!
It’s not about changing everything head over heels right now. It is about giving up the things that prevent you from following. You can carry them to the cross and leave them there. It is a risk if you say yes to God 100%. But you don’t have to be afraid! Jesus spoke to the rich young man full of love – He does the same to you. He wants you to let things go because it is better for you. A father will have to let go of his son if he wants his son to learn to ride a bike by himself. In the same way, you have to let go of some things that captivate you to become a follower of Jesus with all your heart!
God bless you!