One Thing You Lack
One day a rich man ran up to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” I have often wonder what drove the man to Jesus. I wonder what was going on in his life that caused him to run to Jesus, kneel down and ask his question. What is the desperation behind his question?
Truth be told, I might not know what drove the man to ask that question, but I know what has driven me to ask the same kind of question. It is one of those questions that haunts me late at night, when sleep doesn’t come, and I lay awake staring at the ceiling. For me, it is a question of searching, of hoping, of longing. And it’s not about the future. It is about this moment. It is about being more alive. It is about tasting the abundant life Jesus promises. It is a question about the quality of life and not the quantity.
The man in today’s gospel has plenty. He’s rich with property, possessions, wealth. Haven’t you had the experience of getting something you really wanted and then finding yourself still lacking? Something was missing and quantity could not fill the emptiness of quality.
“You lack one thing,” Jesus tells the man. He already knows that. That’s why he is asking his question. What Jesus does is show him a way forward. He offers a new day and a fresh start.
To get this new life, the old one must be let go. That’s hard when there is so much to let go. The rich man is invested in what he has and what he wants will cost him everything he has. I have to believe the same is true for us if we want that new abundant life. There can be no holding on to the things or events of the past. That doesn’t mean we forget, deny, or ignore the past. It just means the past no longer defines us.
“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
What might you need to let go in order to step into a new day and make a fresh start?