What Did I Miss….
By Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[a] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, [b]“Why do you call Me good? [c]No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept [d]from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. –Matt 19:16-22 (NIV)
I was driving over to Grand Junction last week when a coyote suddenly came running across the highway. I didn’t see him, but I swear I heard a “beep, beep” just after I hit the poor thing.
At any rate, I immediately pulled over. No one wants to hit any living creature but I frankly wasn’t too concerned about the coyote, I was concerned about what damage had been done to the car! Fortunately when I looked, it didn’t look too bad; only a crack in the vinyl bumper and the piece that fairs over where the fog-light would go if I had them was missing. So I got back in the car and headed out.
It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I noticed there was more damage! The accident occurred just around dusk, it was a busy road and I didn’t really want to get down on the ground and roll around to see under the car. So I missed the true impact of the collision with the coyote.
It turns out that the impact had torn out the plastic wheel housing of my front tire as well! It never occurred to me that this was even a possibility. I still think wheel wells should be made of metal and welded in, not just pinned with plastic pieces! Suddenly I went from thinking this was no big deal to recognizing I had to do something about it. On a dry road, having no wheel-well is unimportant; but on a wet or snowy road… well that’s a different story. While it’s possible nothing would happen, it has the real possibility of creating havoc with wires and hoses and the like because of the water, dirt and mud that will spray up into the engine compartment.
Our scripture passage says the rich young ruler went away sad. He had asked a question of Jesus and ran into an answer he didn’t like… basically to give his all to God. But the impact of this was too much and he didn’t really think the damage would be consequential if he didn’t follow Christ’s advice. So he went away sad.
I wonder if he ever discovered the true impact of his decision in time to correct it? I wonder if he learned before it was too late that to fail to give his all to God was to lose everything, but to give his all was to gain it all. I wonder if he realized that his initial assessment was inadequate. I wonder if he finally got down and rolled around to look at the decision from all angles and understood the true impact of that decision. I sure hope so. Because to walk away from Jesus for an eternity is to do irreparable damage to your soul.
Prayer: Dear God, how often have I walked away from you sad because I didn’t like what I heard? Help me to look again at those times in my life and reassess. Help me to give my all to you. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran