In today’s chapter of the devotional I’ve been reading, Eugene Peterson challenges me to compare my earthly affections to the “Rich Young Ruler” in Mark 10.
This story has always troubled me; even though I’ve never been “rich” in the eyes of the (western) world, I still have things I cherish. (Of course, the most meager income in the United States dwarfs two-thirds of the rest of the world.)
I’ve collected drums, keyboards, drums, guitars, drums, PAs, and drums over the years. I’ve given up my musical gear before; I’m sure I would do it again. But, it pulls at my heart…
I’ve got a more luxurious vehicle than I’ve ever had before; not an Audi or Lexus, but this F150 truck has more room and features than anything I’ve had… Shouldn’t I put function over form? Though it has features I may soon need (the towing package) I should be able to find an alternative.
Anyway, while I make my mind up on these things and test the strings that pull on my heart I’m going to continue to give as much as possible, hopefully above the norm, and ponder, and pray on these things.
The material possessions any of us have don’t hold a candle to what God’s grace has provided. Personally, I am so glad to have a couple of generations of godly offspring — full of joy, and light — by the Grace of God. By His Grace what seemed to be at best, misfortune, and at worst, evil (my conception subsequent to the divorce of my parents) put me in a life track that brought me to the Cross. I was adopted and raised by my aunt and uncle in rural Montana, rather than in California culture like my natural brother and his children were…
While I don’t have much contact with his family (he recently passed on) I’ve never seen evidence of a serious God-consciousness in his family. I think that the more modest (and somewhat more trying) circumstances I found myself in helped lead me to faith in God.
Back to the story of the Rich Young Ruler… At the end of Jesus’ discussion of riches with His disciples, and following the “camel through the eye of a needle” example, they respond, “Then who has any chance at all?”
“Jesus was blunt: ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.'” The Grace Jesus offers us, is “Trip over your own feet, and fail; trip and fall at My feet, follow Me, and My fortune will be yours.”
I’ve certainly found many ways to trip over my own path I set in my own “wisdom.” Thank God for His inexhaustible Grace!
I can’t say I “like” the devotional I’m reading (it’s pretty challenging) but it is very good… It’s called the The Message: Solo, by Eugene Peterson, from NavPress, and utilizes the lectio divina method.