“What is our one thing? Of all that keeps us from wholeheartedly following him, what most blocks us and gives us grief? What do we possess that, in truth, possesses us? Likely it’s something good in right measure, but something we have come to depend upon, to identify with, something that causes us to forget who and whose we really are.
In this culture it is apt to have something to do with money, sex or power, but it might present itself in other clothes, such as being responsible, working hard, being loyal and well-liked, taking care of ourselves and our causes. Anything that steals us away from utter trust in God and tries to convince us we are in control is worth trying to give away” (Kayla McClurg in Inward Outward).
This quote is a commentary on Mark 10: 17-22. The rich young ruler has just told Jesus that he has kept all the commandments since he was a boy. But Jesus, looking at him with love says, “One thing you lack.” The man had followed all the rules and lived a good life, but Jesus knew that he had something he was holding closer than God. And he tells him to give it up. Because he could not give up his wealth, he was turned away from the Kingdom of God. Something else was stronger than his allegiance to God.
Kayla McClurg points out in the quote above that the one thing we cannot give up might be a good thing. It might be the thing our parents have instilled in us that makes them (and us) most proud: being productive, being patriotic, being well-known and well-liked. But if these characteristics lull us into thinking that we are in control of our lives, the lives of others, and even our destiny, Jesus would tell us to give them up. Here again we see that Jesus’ message turns the ancient world – and our world – upside down. Idolatry comes in many shapes and sizes – some we respected and worked for all our lives. What is the “one thing” that keeps you from putting God on the throne of your life?
image from jscottsamarco.com