looking back

Today’s Gospel is a hard one.

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God." (Luke 9:57-62)

Like I said, that Jesus guy has some hard messages for us sometimes. I know with all my heart that answering the call to follow him is not only what I’m meant to do, it’s what I want to do.

But it’s not easy, as this passage shows. The line that jumped out at me this morning was "No one who … looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God." I think it jumped out because, in the near future, I’m going to be leaving a lot behind. With my Dad’s saying he’ll help me out of my debt situation, my timeline has suddenly moved forward and become clear. There’s a good chance I’ll be leaving around this time next year for Novitiate in New Jersey. That fills me with joy and wonder at God’s blessings. But it also has me looking back.

I know from experience how hard it is when a friend is moving on to something new and away from your daily life. You struggle with enjoying the time you spend with them while in the back of your mind thinking, is this the last time we’ll have chocolate ice cream together? It’s hard to be present without thinking about the fact that they’re leaving. Like I said, I’ve done this. But now I’m noticing people are starting to do that with me, and it’s almost a whole year away. Tricky ….

I think rather than looking behind, the trick is to bring what was left behind with you. In your heart. Knowing you would not be who you are were it not for those people and experiences. Knowing that while you can’t go back nor would you really want to, those people will continue to be part of your new life.

1 comment:

Paul said...

To me, the passage is just saying: make God your number one priority.