I spent a little time in the book of Mark this morning. In chapter 5 there is a story about how Jesus went in to a town and was met by a man possessed by legions of demons. He lived in a cemetery and would wail and cut himself. When he saw Jesus, he fell to the ground, recognizing the Lord’s power. After being delivered from the demons, he implored the Lord to go on with Him.
Contrast this with the story of the rich young ruler (Mark 10) ,who when asked to give up all his belongings and follow Christ, went away sad because he didn’t want to part with his things.
When I was younger and heard the story of the rich man, I thought I had to be willing to live in poverty in order to truly follow Jesus. Aside from the fact that it would be more difficult to be a blessing to others if we lived in such a state, we are missing the fact that God is multifaceted, and designed us each for a specific plan and purpose. To interpret that scripture in such a way would be to miss some real key elements of our Creator.
When the man freed from demonic control so passionately wanted to follow Jesus, he was told to go home and share what had happened. His purpose was not to be a disciple on the road, but a disciple in his own home. In his neighborhood. To his family and friends.
What matters is if we are WILLING to give it all up if He asks. And, if we are willing to keep and share, if He asks. We have have a specific role in the kingdom and His plan – not only for our sake, but for the sake of those we share this planet with. You might be called to minister to the sick in India, or the starving in Africa. Or in downtown Seattle. I might be designed to disciple my children. Or a struggling neighbor. Never dismiss your calling or question that you have one. Just be willing to go.