Risky Business – Good News for May 24

24 05 2010

Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”

He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”

They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

The Daily Path: When you assume a public voice, you also take on vulnerability. I’ve opened my spiritual journey to the world trying to share what I’m experiencing so that others may open their minds and hearts to God. This does not come without risk. By even proclaiming God in my life some will walk away. It’s not easy to accept this at first because we all desire to be loved – to gain the approval of others. Losing a friend or opening ourselves to criticism is hard. But… and this is a BIG BUT… if I truly want to follow the path home, this too, is just part of the terrain. Granted, I have not mastered the process, yet I have come to accept this. It is liberating.

Today, I am going to share another risky insight to my life. Risky because some may walk. Revealing this in public may also make the path towards what I hope to achieve more difficult. But I accept this. It’s part of God’s plan.

Friends, last week I came to understand that the “mild” depression I’ve experienced for well over a year just can’t be dealt with on my own. It’s more than mild and I need professional help.

The  dark epiphany I experienced scared me to death because I had a major shut down. I won’t go into the detail here, but will offer that going through that horrible experience enabled me to more fully understood what so many people already know… depression can be debilitating. Some of the smallest things you take for granted become a struggle. It’s as if you suddenly had parts of your brain locked up preventing you from accessing your energy, strengths, and skills. I even chose to hide from God for a bit.

As frightening as recent days have been, they have also liberated me on several levels. I can now pursue a plan that will lead me out of this “valley of shadow” and restore my complete health. As I move through treatment for my depression, I will also undertake serious exploration of how God wants me to use the skills given me. I’ve also come to realize that many of the old ways no longer work. That’s scary because some of the old ways are also what I currently depend on to care for my family. But again, I accept this because it’s not my plan.

In today’s Gospel, the man who approached Jesus learned what he must do to achieve eternal life… then he went away, sad. Sometimes the message we receive isn’t what we had hoped or expected. Sometimes we go away saddened. But I always wonder what the man did after he had a chance to think about Jesus’ message. Did he eventually do what Jesus asked?

God is asking me to do something. And, once again in His unique way, I’m being shown the direction so that I can fulfill His request. It’s not what I expected. But truly, all things are possible when we open our minds and hearts to God.

There is no real risk in what I have shared today because quite simply: I am in God’s hands and He loves me! That’s all that really matters.

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One response

24 05 2010
daniel tomlinson

I am blessed beyond words for your vulnerability. I’m sitting at a Nashville coffee house praying for us both as we recover from our depression. I understand what you are going through because I’m recovering from the same damn thing, and I know you know that, but I’m not assuming you know it. I love you Kin, not because I’m able, because as you very well know I’m not, but because of the love of God and Mary’s willingness to go through what she went through for the sake of the human race. May she be blessed as we are blessed in our recovery. Grace and peace my friend.

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