Emails to God – One thing I lack… (Luke 18:18-23)

17 Aug

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.

Dear God, there is a fatigue in self-sufficiency. It can be hard to always do things yourself—to insist on being able to say that you are the one who deserves credit for everything you have accomplished. That’s what this rich young ruler was saying: “I have done it. I have done it all. From honoring the commandments to making money, I have done it within my power and succeeded.”

I am reading a book right now where the “hero” (protagonist is probably a better word because I don’t know that he is that heroic) has accomplished a lot on his own. He started out poor, became a star running back in college, and then a successful lawyer. But the writer is doing a good job of setting up the idea that, even though the man sees his life as safe and impenetrable, it is actually very fragile and only a couple of things have to go wrong for it to all fall apart.

Father, help me to surrender my resources, talent, sinfulness, and everything in between to you. Help me to embrace and absorb you a little more each day. Help me to never cease taking you into my being and surrendering all of me to you. I metaphorically turn my fists downward, open them up and drop everything to which I hold so tight, and then turn my open palms up to you, asking that you will them simply with your presence. And then help me to influence my children to do the same.


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