I love this time of year–the home stretch. I have three more races planned this year, along with a training schedule to help me stay conditioned. And with a next year planner in hand, I am thinking of how I will steward the time, things I want to work on, and the way I want to show up in my communities and relationships. A word on passion reaches back to Latin roots (patior) and defines it this way: to suffer. A prompt asks: what are you willing to sacrifice/suffer (for your goal/life category)?
When it comes to my health–am I willing to sacrifice comfort and online scrolling for activity and engagement? Am I willing to give up my daily chocolate for a better protein choice? Or in my relationships–am I willing to say no to some activities in order to make time for the relationships I’ve said really matter?
When the rich young man approaches Jesus to ask what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responds:
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”Luke 18:1825, NIV
I thought about sacrifice. For me to give up comfort to gain strength and endurance really isn’t a sacrifice because there is a better gain. To give up a sabotaging food choice or habit in place of a healthier one wasn’t the loss I was making it out to be, it was gain toward what I truly wanted. And when Jesus tells the man he lacks one thing, he’s pointing to a way this man can gain–to give up what he was holding onto and he would get a treasure in heaven. It had me think about what things, routines, and beliefs I hold onto that I’m not willing to sacrifice. But when I hold onto those things, am I actually giving up (sacrificing) what is better in the long run for a present (or temporal) satisfaction? And am I holding onto things that prevent me from following Jesus with a whole heart?
Lord, I need your word. Just time in these Scriptures today has been the refocus I needed. And not just about sacrifice (and gain) but about forgiveness and repentance, stewardship, persistence. I am so thankful for this time with you.