Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 65; 147:1-11, Deuteronomy 13:1-11, 2 Corinthians 7:2-16, Luke 17:20-37
“He who hesitates is lost.”
The exact origin of this proverb is unknown, but it persists because it is timeless. We find or make up all kinds of excuses to hem and haw about decisions, only to regret opportunities that slip by. In business this phenomenon is sometimes called “analysis paralysis.”
Jesus warned his followers that when the day of reckoning came, it would be sudden and people needed to be ready at a moment’s notice. Anyone looking back toward home to gather belongings or tie up loose ends would be left behind. Does this seem harsh? Who wouldn’t be tempted to reach out to a loved one, or say good-bye to an old life?
“Justice delayed is justice denied.”
Another popular expression with vague origins. If we are waiting for justice, every minute of delay is essentially another minute of injustice. What could be more just than following Christ? Every minute we don’t follow him completely is a minute we’ve denied him. It seems unlikely he’s going to show up tomorrow, but that doesn’t excuse a lack of dedication. In what ways are we holding out? Maybe we’re waiting for an apology from someone before we forgive them. Or maybe we’re planning to spend more time in prayer and praise once things settle down at work or at home. Because we think of Jesus as loving and forgiving (both true), we can forget he also makes demands and approach discipleship like a diet that always seems to be starting “next” Monday. Or we can take him for granted and treat him like a family member who takes second place to our job “just this once” … for the second, tenth, or hundredth time.
No one’s dedication is perfect, but we can do our best to make sure we look forward toward Christ and not backward toward the attachments which prevent us from pursuing him unencumbered. Since we never know which moment will be the pivotal one in our relationship with Christ, why not assume they all are?
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Comfort: Jesus is ready for you right now.
Challenge: He wants you to be ready, too.
Prayer: Lord grant me the conviction to follow you right how. Amen.
Discussion: What makes you hesitate to commit to something?
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