Jim’s entire family was migrating to Australia. But Jim hesitated to join them to the confusion of his clan. In the end, the reason emerged: he couldn’t leave because he was too enamored with his girlfriend and couldn’t imagine a life without her around.
In times of calamities, many people refuse to evacuate their homes. Not that they don’t want to be safe. The reason lies in the goods inside the house – the refrigerator, the tv set and the radio component – they couldn’t part with these items that made their lives comfortable.
Today we receive a valuable lesson in life. If we are to advance, if we are to move on or move up, we must give up some of the things we hold precious. We cannot bring everything with us. It may be possessions, or it may be people we love, but the fact is, we cannot carry them all as we move along.
In considering how to follow God’s will, Jesus himself never gave the assurance that the process would be easy. It is adventurous, yes. It is exciting, yes. But it is, above all, demanding! Jesus reminds us that following him is choosing the way of the cross! Every follower of the Lord must carry the cross, and nothing else.
Of course, we cannot carry that cross on which we see Jesus hanging. It’s his cross. Look at Jesus. In following the Father, he left behind his family, his projects, his dreams. He must entrust these things to the care of God and into the hands of his faithful friends. In saying goodbye to cherished people and things, Jesus was able to show his sincere love and great attachment to the Father alone.
We want to follow Jesus. But are we aware that he is asking us to give up some things? We cannot bring all the positive things in our lives – however beautiful or grand they may be, like family and friends. Perhaps we have our own vision of the future and yet, the Lord tells us we must give these up to reach our true destiny.
All the more it’s not possible to bring the negative things that dot our lives. We are comfortable with many of these, but they certainly slow us down and eat us up. Jesus does not want you to bring the hurt you have been nursing for so long. Jesus wants you to abandon the old patterns of behavior that hurt other people and destroy yourself. Jesus wants you to forget the past that haunts you with sadness and guilt.
It’s a new time, a new challenge, a new life that Jesus offers. But we must leave behind some people and things.
Jim did not make it to Australia because he was too attached. Many people never make it to a bright future because they cling so hard to the usual, comfortable things. May we, instead, learn to let go and experience the joy of following God’s designs for us and our loved ones.