Life brings challenges. Some are more difficult than others. A challenge presents itself and we must decide how to advance or if we'll advance forward at all. Imagine the people mentioned here in the Gospel of Luke.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied,
“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He
said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus
said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still
another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus
replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
(Luke 9:57-62, NIV)
Often, what looks like a cakewalk carries with it subtleties that may not be evident on the surface. These three people were eager to follow Jesus and said as much. Extraneous concerns diverted their attention away from Jesus' command to "Follow me." These diversions weren't bad but were distractions.
I had some time before a meeting yesterday so I went on a walk. This bucolic scene brought peace to my heart. With peace came restlessness. I couldn't help but think what it would be like to scale the mountain in the background. My heart was yearning to climb but my my mind was saying, "What about snakes coming out of their dens, the meeting occurs in 35 minutes, I have no water or hiking shoes." I began to rationalize all the things wrong about attempting the climb here and now. What happened to the peaceful soul enriching walk I was enjoying?
The three people in Luke 9 were willing to follow Jesus but were listening to a voice commandeering their will. What they wanted to do before submitting to Jesus sounded admirable. Jesus teased apart the heirarchy of importance in earthly pursuits and godly kingdom oriented desires.
Our life flows out in front of us and the road looks inviting most days. We set goals in place to accomplish. Nearby, one calls us by name to follow Him. We balk. What impediments are keeping you from fully resting in a soul satisfying walk with Jesus Christ? Is it customary for the voice in your head to push several important ideas or events forward? Does Jesus' call to you get drowned out by earthly pursuits? Stop!
Take a moment this day to assess your life. Where do you expend most of your time? Is your life busy (maybe busy in the church) or is your life invested in God's business of disciple making? Listen to Jesus. Follow Him. Set aside busy things so that you can attend to the 'business' that God is asking of you.