JUST ADD ONE MORE THING!

Red Mountain Expressway, Birmingham, Alabama

Yesterday Debbie and I made a trip to Birmingham to see the surgeon who gave her a new knee last year. Debbie was having some pain in that knee and wanted to know it the new knee was still OK. The appointment was at 3:30 p.m. so we hoped we would get out of there before the afternoon work traffic. We didn’t, of course and it was–let’s say a challenge in both patience and hope–that we could even get on the Red Mountain Expressway. Getting onto the Expressway was difficult because of all the traffic. To make a long story short, we finally managed to get on it, and after several minutes, we were moving right along. And what does this have to do with The Kingdom Life? Glad you asked!

On the front porch this morning, thinking about yesterday afternoon, I remembered what is commonly called “The Story of the Rich Young Ruler” (see Matthew chapter 19). He was in a traffic jam of a different sort. He was trying to find real life. According to the Talmud there were 613 rules. Now that’s a lot of rules for one young man to follow. It’s worse than Expressway and Interstate work traffic! So, he came to Jesus trying to get out of his traffic jam with one statement and one question:

“All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?”

Matthew chapter 19 verse 20 from the World English Bible

You see, this young man thought there was one more thing he needed to add to his plate. Since the 613 rules weren’t giving him what he longed for, then there must be Rule Number 614. But instead of adding Rule Number 614, Jesus told him to let go of everything and follow Him. Jesus doesn’t want to be another thing added to your plate called life. He wants us to wipe the plate clean, and simply follow Him into the life our hearts long for and know it was created for. Not adding another thing–but get rid of everything! And how does this young, successful man respond?

That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.

Matthew chapter 19 verse 22 from The Message

Is you life like that congested Red Mountain Expressway in work traffic? Trying to squeeze in one more thing? Are you trying to fit Jesus into an already overcrowded life? How’s that working out for you? Why not do what Jesus said and scrape all that’s on your plate and allow Jesus to be that plate? Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to HIM!