Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” - Mark 10:21
The man walked away sad. He had thought that he was going to get a ticket straight to heaven. After all, he had done all the right things. Or so he thought.
Ah, but he was new to the spiritual journey. He was not yet ready to put Jesus first in his life. He was too attached to his possessions.
What he didn’t understand was that the problem was not that he had possessions. Possessions in themselves are not bad. It is the value we place on them. Are they taking up space in our hearts where God should be?
So the man just turned away. Instead of following Jesus, and learning how to let go, he just gave up. He gave up and walked away.
And he failed to see that look of love that Jesus gave him.
Jesus was not being stern or angry. Jesus was inviting him - inviting him on the spiritual journey. Inviting him to follow Jesus, to learn and grow closer to Him.
When I first started to take my spiritual life seriously, when I first started to try to put Jesus first in my life, it did not take long for me to learn that up was down and down was up. Nothing was what I had thought at all. I had to "let go" of all my preconceived ideas that I had held onto for a lifetime. Ideas of what it means to be a perfect person, a perfect Christian. I had to let go of whatever kept me from putting Jesus first.
We do not have to have our act together all of the time. We do not have to earn Jesus' love.
Instead we need to turn back to Jesus, over and over. And let go of whatever turned us away from him in the first place.
We do not need to turn away and give up in sadness.
We just need to remember - Jesus never gives up on us.
Dear Lord, help me to let go of those attachments that keep me from putting you first. Help me to make you the Lord of my life. I long to trust you totally. But I get scared. May I grow in confidence and trust in your love and mercy. Amen.