Our Way

Sometimes everything in life seems to be such a fight, a struggle, when nothing seems to go the way you’ve planned it, and obstacles start flying toward you faster than you can duck. When the shit hits the fan, it’s so easy to get off course, get depressed, and wonder just what the hell God is trying to say. It’s funny how we automatically assume that God wants to thwart our plans, to knock us down and show us His displeasure, but is this really God’s way, or is it our way of looking at it?

In Mark 8:34-36, Christ tells us, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”  And, it occurs to me (in the midst of my own struggles) that maybe the obstacles, the road blocks, are really God’s way of checking our faith, of testing our resolve to play it out in God’s time and in God’s way, giving us the chance to lay down our selfish desires and follow.

~SLM

What We Own

Lately, I’ve been pondering Mark 10:17-25, and just what it means to give up what we own and follow. It’s a tall order to walk away from all that we possess, to give up all that we hold. In fact, it’s an extremely difficult proposition for most of us, because we give our possessions a place of prominence in our lives, finding comfort in them, using them as a crutch to our self-esteem, and defining ourselves by them.  We feel we are giving something up, sacrificing, when we “down size” our homes from 4000 to 2000 square feet, when we don’t get a new car every other year, or when we skip the latest generation of smart phone.  Our idea of what is true, of what really matters, becomes distorted, hijacked by delusions and rationalizations that put us, and what we own, front and center in our lives.

When you think about it, giving up what we own is about more than just our physical possessions, because we also own our thoughts, our ideas, and our beliefs. It means giving up what we hold most dear. So, when Christ asks us to “sell what you own and give to the poor,” before we may follow him, he’s asking us to transform how we see things, to change our minds, and to rethink our lives. Being able to give up what we own shows a willingness to put things into perspective, to disown our preconceived notions, and to sort out what holds real importance, real meaning.

We cannot go into it with predetermined philosophies; we cannot follow in this way. As we think, so shall we be, therefore we have to look at it with new eyes, to hear it with new ears, to realize that it takes a special mind-set to look beyond the apparent, past all that we think we know and silently wait on God.

~SLM