If it weren’t for that deceiving snake, all of us would life just a little bit easier. And yet, the lie was told, apple bitten, and the fall of man was the greatest catastrophe to ever occur in the history of mankind. I often joke about the first sin of man being that he listened to a woman. All jokes aside, the fall of mankind is something I have a very difficult concept grasping. In the movies, we watch as paradise is lost, evil enters the world, and all that is innocent becomes a thorn-infested, dark world where doors are barricaded at night and only soft whispers remain of better times. Our world is no different.
While ironing my clothes this morning, I thought of the story of Christ and the rich man. “What must I do to be saved” he asked. “Sell everything you have and follow me” Christ replied. This terrified the man, because he was of great wealth. He had much to lose and the cost of following Christ was highly aware of the mans particular situation, and yet He still asked him to do the thing that would cost him the most. Were it to simply make large financial donations to the local synagogue, I doubt the man would have a problem with this. But to require everything – everything – the one thing the man perhaps hoped Christ wouldn’t ask.
Thinking about this, I wondered what it would be that Christ would ask of me. I almost hate to say it, but I received my answer immediately. Were I to be in the shoes of the rich man, asking “What must I do to be saved?” I would hope that Christ would ask me to sell everything and follow Him. That, for me, would be easy. As a 23 year-old young man who has little to my name, the idea of selling everything to follow my savior seems to be very easy. In fact, it would almost be refreshing to let go of everything and pursue Him. As somebody who struggles with materialistic obsession, it would be easier for me to do a clean sweep and get it all out of my system, rather than to try and work on items one by one.
When a man enters a shop to purchase a ring for his future wife, he does not go to the counter and request a plastic ring that looks real. Even if he were to find a complete replica ring, it would not be the same as the real jewelry. Without cost, there is little value. Unless you’re a fairly wealthy individual (I have no problem with this, by the way!) that engagement ring has many months of toil, sweat, and hard work contained in the band. It is a sign that you have been willing to pay the price for the relationship you’re entering into.
The real question is whether or not we are offering facsimile rings before our Heavenly Father. There are some thing that come very easily to me; tithing, giving to others, prayer, and sharing faith with those who are most difficult to speak to. These things may be difficult to others, but they are my version of a plastic ring; no cost, no value. It would be acceptable to maintain these practices, if I were to hold myself at an arms-length distance from others and the Creator; from a great distance, it appears there is great value to these elements. It’s only when you get closer to inspect the offering that you realize it’s a cheap imitation of something that has real value.
What kind of life do you want to live? Are you content having a life that resembles something of high cost, without actually being worth anything? Does the man wear the suit, or does the suit wear the man? In order to make real changes to your life, you must be willing to go under the microscope and be willing to make the hard changes.
What’s the thing of high cost that’s begging to be changed? I may as well be bluntly honest here. Google analytics say I receive an average of 10-15 views per blog posting. Who knows who these people are. It doesn’t matter.
One of the elements of my life that I have a hard time with is the arena of relationships. When it rains, it pours. While I’m hardly somebody who leads people on, breaks hearts, or constantly adds notches to my bedpost (somewhat hard to do that when you’ve been out of that game for 2+ years), I enjoy taking time. It’s purely selfish on my part to go out with different women who I have a difficult time seeing a future with. Perhaps I’m trying to prove myself wrong, or trying to create a complete picture by spending time with different people who match different pieces of the complete picture I’m hoping to spend the rest of my life with.
Inner insecurity? I don’t think so. What it is is me trying to do more than I am capable of. I’ve always tried to wring more time out of a second, though I know it’s impossible. This is a period of my life where I should be devoting 100% of myself to pursuing my career, developing self, and establishing a secure financial foundation for the next few years. While I am doing these things, I allow myself slack room when I feel these goals are being met. Yet, rather than going full-force with these things, I allow myself wasted time when I notice even small progress in these areas. It’s an unhealthy lifestyle that must be put to a stop. Immediately.
Someday, there will be a day where I meet her. And I look forward to being able to look into her eyes and tell her she’s the only object of affection in my heart. And someday, I hope to be able to put a very real, very expensive ring on that perfect finger, knowing the price was paid in full.
Until then, things need to change.