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11.26.01 - Book Review: Finding Common Ground
11.19.01 - The Call
11.12.01 - September 11 and White Privilege
11.05.01 - A Metaphor that Transforms
10.29.01 - Your Time, My Time, Me Time, and God's Time
10.22.01 - JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
10.15.01 - Sonburned at Soularize
10.08.01 - Nation can resist evil without using the tactics of violence and retribution
10.01.01 - Simplicity -- To Will One Thing
09.24.01 - That Was Then, This Is Now, and You Are Here…
09.17.01 - Come On!
09.03.01 - Anti-Racist Postmodernism?
08.27.01 - Really, Really Big Worship Ruts
08.20.01 - Your Own Personal Jesus
08.13.01 - New Agriculture, New World View
08.06.01 - Macro Questions
07.30.01 - Grace or Holiness … Must We Choose?
07.23.01 - The People Formerly Known as Lost
07.16.01 - Are We Motivated by Love?
07.09.01 - Take the Postmodern Reformation Quiz
07.02.01 - Artist Myths and Beyond
06.25.01 - Transformation For All Of Us
06.18.01 - Schleitheim, Shepherds, and 21st Century Leadership
06.11.01 - Tenth Anniversary
05.28.01 - Salvation and Mission
05.14.01 - Looking Beyond Ourselves
04.30.01 - The Ministry of Mapmaking
04.16.01 - On Sinking or Swimming in Postmodern Culture
The Compass Let Go Of Some of This Stuff

We clutter our lives. We jam pack our schedules, our houses, our cars, our minds. We have so much stuff coming at us, going past us, or waiting for us to pick up, that we have become the most cluttered people on the planet. It's part of what we do in this post-modern culture we live in.

And yet, we hold on to all of this stuff with two hands and cry when it breaks, wears out, fades, or runs empty.

Consider the rich man who Jesus spoke with in Matthew 19:16-30. Apparently, this guy had a lot of stuff, but he wanted more. "Teacher," he asked Jesus, "what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

Now the key word is 'get,' and I suspect Jesus saw right through the Bible-time equivalent of his Armani suit and Gucci necktie. This guy was just like many people we know today -- he was an accumulator. And he had stuff. Lots of stuff.

So Jesus reminded him, first off, that there is only One (God) who is good. Must have wiped that self-righteous smile right off his face. Then He reminded him of the commandments. Been there Jesus, done that. "So what haven't I got?"

Now comes the real zinger -- "If you want to be perfect," Jesus answered, "go, sell all your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come, follow me." After this guy's jaw dropped, he went away with his head hung low. This was probably one of the first times he could remember the he did not get something he wanted.

What he didn't understand was that eternal life was not just another bit of accumuli he could add to his asset statement. This was something he had to give up everything else for -- he had to let go of all of the other stuff. Why -- because it was evil? No, because it got in the way of a relationship with God.

Here again, in verse 21, Jesus wanted this man and all of us to get our priorities in order, to get all this clutter out of his life and his heart, and then -- only then -- when we let go with our hands, eyes, emotions, wills, and our hearts -- can we be prepared to do what Jesus asks: "Come, follow me."

Being rich is not a sin -- it is a stewardship responsibility, so let's not pick on those brothers and sisters around us who have the responsibility of wealth. Not everyone can handle this responsibility. Not everyone is given the same responsibility. Each of us has a different calling from God, and is given different gifts and talents, and that is what we need to focus on -- what we have, not what we don't have. Unless, of course, we don't have eternal life -- then we need to look at our priorities.

No matter how educated we are (or aren't), there is one lesson we have not learned as a postmodern society: in order to let God into our lives -- and fill us with a richer, more fulfilling, more eternal life -- we have to let go of the stuff -- with hands, mind, and heart.

-- Will Schirmer

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