Today’s reading sent me spinning on a trip where I eventually ended which a decision which is not always easy to make. I still have to remind myself about it every now and then. But making this decision would make all the difference in this world. (and the next!)
Luke 9: 57 – 58
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Okay, after Whoopi Goldberg in a nun’s habit flashed in my head for a minute, I thought about how Jesus is pretty straightforward with what you can expect if you decide to follow him. Basically, you’re not going to have a home. Yep, other companies can offer you house plans or set you up in a nice cozy apartment but it’s different here, buddy.
You see, He’s got something better than the two-storey brick house you’ve been eyeing. Much cooler than the quaint bungalow on the coast of Puerto Prinsesa that you’ve been daydreaming about. The space hotel that they’ve been meaning to open this year? This place is much more awesome than that. Plus, in this crib, there is no checkout date.
Do you see where I’m getting at?
Yes, God’s Kingdom. That’s where you really, truly belong. In this world, we are but transients, passers-by and you might even say foreigners. Which explains that certain homesickness some of us sometimes feel while we are here. We long to be with our Father, in our heavenly home, so you can’t blame us. But here’s some exciting news. As you read this, Jesus is preparing the place for your coming. Not that you’re due anytime soon. (*Nervous laughter here*)
But until that time, Jesus makes it clear. “If you are to follow me, you won’t have a permanent home.”
Which isn’t at all bad because all that really means is that the entire world is your home. You better believe it. Think of all the times when you would visit a cousin or an aunt or a friend. Notice how they opened up their doors wide, gave you smiles and told you to “please, feel at….?” Yes, home.
Remember the snacks? The stories? Even the family dog snuggled up to you. They invited you in and kept you warm and even allowed you to use their toothbrush.
Now that’s the nature of God and that’s His promise to His followers. Wherever you may be in this world and wherever continent you end up in, you can be certain as the sun that He will protect you, keep you warm and feed you. He will send you His angels and keep you surrounded with His soldiers. For even foxes have their holes and birds have their nests, what more you, who is made in His image and likeness?
Now imagine it again, and believe it. The whole world….your playground. If you decide to take up Jesus’ invitation.
And you might say, but that is such a big risk! Can’t I just, you know, stay here where I’m comfortable and follow you whenever I feel like it? Of course. He’ll still honor you, cause that’s just the way He is. But, you won’t be able to experience the fullness of His promise if you can’t give Him the fullness of your faith. What you give is what you get.
A little slower now.
Here is the world, and what it offers you….a permanent house, a stable job, a steady income, quiet days and nights, no one bothers you, you’re fine.
Here is Jesus and what He promises you….the world as you playground, the best boss in the universe, an endless supply of provisions and blessings, exciting days and glorious evenings…but no permanent home. And He can’t promise you that no one will bother you ever because as a follower, you’re on call 24/7. Oh, here’s an added perk: an eternity of after life benefits. And insurance.
What choice are you making?