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

Bigger Than The Box

Sometimes, because of human nature, and how we assimilate external stimuli, we tend to categorize things, sort them out and stack them up in nice, neat little piles, containing them within a certain space. We even do this with God. We box Him up in a proper little package and define Him in our terms, how we think He ought to be, but we cannot limit God in such a way. Mark tells us that Christ said to his disciples as they questioned him about salvation, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). God is bigger than the box we make for him. He is more than our rudimentary grasp of Him; He is everything and nothing at all, He is every possibility, and He cannot be neatly filed away into our definition of whom and what He is. Sometimes, God’s message for us is not what we want to hear, or how we want to hear it, and we simply cannot afford to close our minds, because we don’t like the message or the messenger.
In the search for truth, we must be ever-vigilant in our quest to recognize the voice of Wisdom. We cannot pick and choose how and when God will give us guidance. He speaks to us in many voices, and not just the voices we know and love, agree with and respect. He uses every means at His disposal to share His truths with us, and it is up to us to have eyes to see and ears to hear.
~SLM