They listened to his heart.
Little - less - nothing! - and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.
(from Out, out, by Robert Frost)
It's the anniversary of one of the worst events to befall my generation. The attacks on America that beautiful day in September were a shock to our collective soul. For a while, we rallied - uniting as a people against the hate that would drive some to spend their life's blood as casually as a coin tossed in a fountain. For a time, we cared - cared about those killed, cared about those wounded, cared about doing something about the evil that spawned such hate.
For a while we stepped back and considered just how brief a life we have.
We even thought about God.
Then, since we weren't personally affected, we went back to the mall, back to you tube and MySpace, back to our American lives.
Because life goes on.
Because that's what we do.
Because it's hard to focus on what really matters and exclude the trivial.
That's not a new development.
19 As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said. 20 Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know." 21 Another follower said, "Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father's funeral to take care of." 22 Jesus refused. "First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life." Matt 8:19-22 (MSG)
Harsh, isn't it?
You'd have to look further into the culture to realize that what's happening here is that the religion scholar wants to place a down payment on salvation rather than putting himself fully into Jesus' care. His father almost certainly wasn't dead - grieving people did not go to public gatherings like this one. His father might have lived for 10-20 more years.
Jesus was challenging the man to decide right now to follow Him - no hesitation - nothing held back. He wanted the man 100% personally invested in a changed life.
Jesus first today. Jesus first tomorrow. Jesus first everyday of your life.
Can you do that?
It goes against everything this culture tells you - against everything you've learned. You've been trained to be superficial.
Decide to follow Him. Not just one time down the church's aisle, but everyday.
For without Jesus, you are dead.
Harsh isn't it.
But oh so true.