If you were to make a list of the things that you have gotten done recently and the things that still need to get done, which list would be longer? For most of us, the list of things that we have not done yet is probably longer. Perhaps we are either waiting for just the right time to act or we are putting off getting started.
In the Gospel when Jesus said, “Come, follow me”, he got a mixed response (Luke 9:51-62). One person said he would follow him right away. Another indicated a desire to eventually follow him, but not until after he had buried his father. Still another was somewhat interested but said he had to go home and say goodbye to his family first. They all acknowledged the importance of the invitation to follow Jesus. The actual follow through varied from person to person.
Every so often it is good to ask how we are attending to the things in our lives that we say are important. How might we be waiting for just the right time to act? Maybe we are not doing anything because we are intimidated by past failures. Perhaps the time is now for us to put aside those failures and instead remember past successes as an inspiration for moving forward.
There is a story about a man taking a walk who tripped over a bag of pebbles. One by one, imagining what it would be like to be rich, he tossed the pebbles into the nearby river. Eventually he had only one pebble left to toss and it got stuck in his hand. As he looked at the pebble he noticed that it was glittering beautifully in the sunlight. Looking at it more closely, he discovered that it was a diamond. Suddenly, he realized that he had been throwing away the riches he had right in his hand while dreaming about an imaginary life that would be better.
Every day is the right time to follow Jesus. Mindful of the man in the story, what riches do we have in our hands this very moment that we need to attend to? Yes, it may often seem like there is something more important to do first. What is most important is the gift of each moment God gives to us. Our challenge is to not throw that gift away imagining that there might be a better one in the future.
Together in faith,
The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector