That Fox Again

I’ve always wanted to follow Jesus. I don’t know why. Just seems like he has better ideas than other people. Practical ways of growing up to become a proper pondering pig. Maybe even a pig of action!

Like that one about let God do the judging, you do the healing.

It’s not bad advice. Gets the twisty stuff out of my mind. It’s like the sun comes out when I can stop judging other people for a minute and relax. I wouldn’t know to do that except that I follow Jesus and that was his advice.

So I am a disciple – except I am the world’s most inconsistent disciple. Here’s a bit from the Gospel of Matthew I have successfully ignored so far: “If you want to be perfect, sell what you have, give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”

I have walked around this advice, inspected it, but decided not to ponder it, because it didn’t seem to lead to joy but rather to having to sell all my stuff, give the proceeds to “the poor”, then go wander around the countryside with out even a backpack and no place to keep dry and my dear little pigsty, where is it? And my little kids, if I still had some, would they have to wander around too? Not able to go to school and nothing to eat at night unless the rich lady felt generous, or we met (fat chance) some other disciple who was giving all their money to “the poor” – that’s me.

I just have not been able to see any joy in this particular scenario. Sounds like a big drag, frankly. So, I have decided not to ponder it. Until today.

I’m sure it has something to do with that twisty feeling.

It’s like, and I’m wandering off here – dancing in the sunshine Marin County Spring 1968 with a beautiful hippie girl I’d never seen before and never would see again, dancing for hours it seemed in pure joy while the Grateful Dead played off the back of a flatbed truck and my long hair gleamed and brushed the morning. No drugs – just joy of life and being young and sharing it with a dear beautiful saint for a moment.

It’s like that versus being chained to a death job with angry ghosts passing in the halls and meetings with sour, cynical faces day after day like in Dilbert – because I had to make the mortgage and my kids needed braces and our beautiful old Victorian was warm and safe with my girls safe and jolly and their friends running in and out.

Just seemed like that’s what you did when you were a man – you took care of your family, and that met burying your heart and living behind a mask. I never felt like I had a choice to sell all I had and give it to “the poor” and then go follow Jesus. Couldn’t I do it now somehow?

Oh dear , I don’t think I’ve pondered this through but rather got more confused…

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3 thoughts on “That Fox Again

  1. It gets awfully confusing when one isolates passages from all of the other things Jesus said and did. He gives His poor pondering pig disciples many different examples and stories to make a point, which is usually about “heart” stuff, and love. I think “following Jesus” is loving God and trusting Him for everything, including His desire to transform selfish piggy hearts hearts …and allowing Him to motivate our actions. Sounds like joy to me!


  2. Hey Chris,I found this quote on Wikipedia. Maybe it could fit in here somewhere. But maybe not. “Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” ~ Michael Pritchard ~ Gary


  3. I feel a little sorry for the certain rich ruler who sadly walked away from Jesus when told, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come follow me” (Luke 18:22). Who knows if the young ruler was married or not? It doesn’t say. Maybe there was a queen and some little princes and princesses in his family that he felt responsible for. Being a ruler he probably had to maintain a palace of some sort to entertain visiting dignitaries. And palaces need servants. The servants and their families, if there were any, were, in a sense, eating at his table too. If the rich ruler was a responsible sort of man, which he no doubt was, then he had the well-being of other people to consider in making this decision, as well as his own future. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he may have desired to do what he felt was the right thing to do for all the lives that would be concerned with this important decision.Perhaps later on, with more time for quiet prayer, the rich young ruler would reverse his decision to “sadly walk away.” Trusting in Jesus’ words is not typically an easy thing to do, as you’ve undoubtedly discovered for yourself, but following his leading is the way to go, I believe.Earlier in his ministry (Luke 12:32-34) Jesus said these same words, “Sell your possessions, and give alms,” to his entire flock. These words, however, were prefaced with the words, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” So, as I see the situation, when Jesus spoke to the rich ruler he was just repeating an instruction to the young man that he had given earlier to his entire flock of followers (who were not rich, except, maybe, for Matthew the former tax collector). Jesus’ teachings are new wine for new wineskins. Right? Who’d of thought? ~ Gary


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