I was talking to Shaia today about what's going on with everything. Oh, yeah ... Shaia's my 3 1/2 month old daughter. She's cute. So, I was walking the dog, Nela. Oh, yeah. Nela (NEE-lah) is our 3 1/2 month old dog.
Anyway, I was walking the dog and talking to Shaia who was in the stroller about what's going on in my life right now. There are so, so many interesting things. I have a new Gretsch guitar! This thing is really, really sweet. And my brother Leonard sprung for some kick butt, top shelf, pickups. TV Jones, if you really want to know. And I'm organizing the band in a very particular way. It's not my doing, no. I couldn't be so thorough. I've kinda been getting these ... "feelings" or "thoughts" about what, or how, we should be doing things. Part of that is that I have a back log of unfinished songs.
So, I have these songs that are pretty good, but no lyrics. I've been prompted to start writing again -- prose or poetry. It's really a matter of practice, you know. Along the way I was "nudged" to Mark, chapter 10. In it, there's a rich young ruler, a prince, who talks to Jesus about heaven and what does he need to do to get in.
So, I'm strolling along and walking the dog and talking to Shaia about this fascinating story.
It seems this young dude had it all -- money, power, and I presume fame since everyone seemed to know who he was. And he asks Jesus to tell him what he needs to do to gain eternity. Jesus, and I paraphrase here, tells him he needs to treat people right according to some of the 10 Commandments. This guy says he's done all that since he was a kid. (I don't believe it for a minute). So, he wants to know what else? What else is there? Jesus tells the guy to go sell everything he owns, give all the cash to the poor, and follow Him. The guy turns around and walks away sad.
Several things strike me as particularly interesting. See, the Bible is this thing that is very real if you read it with the intent of seeing the humanity in it. I mean, it's not a text book. It's a book of real people living real lives that aren't that different than our own.
So, you have this guy that thinks he has it all. He thinks he really has his crap in order and is the living example of righteousness. He tells Jesus that he's done all the commandments. How many times have I heard that one? How many times have I used that one?? "Yeah, you've treated everyone right since you were a kid, never once screwing up and treating them like dirt, never making a fool of yourself, never putting your own interests before other people? Yeah. Right." So, lets just say, for the sake of argument, that this guy is the only guy beside Jesus to really obey the Commandments. He's still making it about him. He wants to know, since he's got all his ducks in a row, what else is there? Sorta like a taunt; like a dare. There's a certain amount of arrogance and audacity in the question, isn't there? "What else do I have to do since I'm a perfect good guy." But that's the way it is, isn't it? "I'm not the one at fault here." It's my wife who doesn't understand me. It's my boss who can't appreciate his workforce. It's that guy on the road who won't get out of my way. It's my kids because they refuse to respect me. Jesus just lays it out: Go home and get rid of everything you have, give it away, and come with me.
Cult leaders say something similar with one crucial difference: They want you to bring THEM the money. Jesus told him to give it away, not "bring it here."
And of course the guy's sad. Here he was thinking that he had everything he needed, he had his dance card punched and was holding the golden ticket. So, this guy who's been waited on hand and foot all of his life can't give it up, can he? He can't go and set his slaves free and enrich the lives of the very peasants who keep him rich. He lives a life of comfort. It's a tough, tough thing to do. 'Smatter of fact, Jesus tells us it's humanly impossible.
But He did it. Jesus gave up heaven to come over here and slum it with us. How 'bout that?
I think Shaia enjoyed the story and my observations on it. She kept "cooing" anyway. There's a song there.

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