I was inspired by Dr. Charles F. Stanley of InTouch.org today. He got me thinking: Are my choices getting me what I want? Are my choices delivering on the promises they make? Dr. Stanley talked about the two choices we have as outlined in the sermon on the mount (start in Matthew 5 in the Bible). One way is narrow, hard, and few are traveling on it. The other way is easy, wide, and many are traveling on it. Yet both promise something we want.
The easy way promises fame, fortune, power and pleasure. And promises that when these are delivered I will have achieved happiness. This is the path I started out traveling. This fueled my high school and college academic achievement with the hopes of someday being rich and famous (and my highest goal of someday being able to afford a maid because I hate cleaning:-).
The hard way involves – not achieving – but surrendering. Surrendering my hopes and dreams – my life – in exchange for finding true life, true love and true meaning and purpose – by following Jesus. Surrendering is hard. I only did it because God took away almost every other option from me: the ability to think and act, the ability to earn money and live the life I had dreamed. I surrendered because I had nothing to lose. God had made the choice as easy as possible for me.
But what about you? You may have a career that you may have to give up, family who don’t understand and friends that will reject someone who openly loves Jesus. The good news is that Jesus said that anyone who gives up careers, family, and friends for Him will receive many times more in this life and eternal life in the life to come.
Jesus does not leave us as orphans. He takes care of us, better than we can ourselves. And by following Jesus we can pray for and serve the very ones who reject us because of Jesus. And possibly they may come to know true life in Jesus for themselves because God’s love is shown through our efforts.
I have heard enough testimonies of those who have “made it” and found it “wasn’t worth it” to be convinced that the easy way doesn’t deliver on its promise of happiness. And God has filled my life with good things: a job I love, a wife I love, two sons I love, friends I love; to know God comes through on His promise of an abundant life for those who love and follow Him.