I've often heard it spoken, when someone is struggling to move on, "You've gotta leave the past behind." It's as if we have a switch in our soul that we can flip to disconnect our deep-rooted feelings and help us get to the next step on our journey.
Elmer was a really sharp and wise 92 year old sage. When he moved into our community and congregation to live nearer to his daughter, he was still driving and after a year among us ran into a parked car. Fortunately, there were no injuries, but after that incident, Elmer handed the car keys to his daughter and said, "It's time. Common sense has to prevail over emotions." That thought has stuck with me and was mentioned during his memorial service just prior to his 95th birthday.
The call to follow Jesus comes with some sacrifice. Luke—the physician—might not be a psychologist, but he seems to pick up on matters of the heart when the disciples are learning a new way to trust and follow their Savior. The inner struggle of leaving the past behind and growing a new common sense is palpable. Yet in the life of faith the past is transformed by the One who walks with us on our journey of life and faith.
Pondering the God who walks with us and the call to follow Jesus, we might ask ourselves, "When is a time that the Spirit has transformed my innermost being for a greater sense of commitment to and trust in Jesus?"
O Master, let me walk with you, knowing that sometimes on the journey you ask us to lose ourselves and discover the new life you give us as we follow you and share your Gospel with the world. Amen.
Luke 9:51-62 (NRSV)
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;
53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 Then they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."