Ruth 1:2–18, 2 Samuel 15:19–37, Matthew 19:16–30
Something more. Something greater than ourselves. That kind of thing calls to us very deeply. In this modern world, we have a greater amount of freedom to find that “something”. There is an argument that the only reason that we have that “freedom” is that we have so much more free time and wealth. The sad truth is that as a whole people work far longer hours with less vacation than other places in the world (even many “non-free” countries).
A recent comparison came out, showing that Americans work far more and fill their lives with far more than serfs did centuries ago. Serfs weren’t known to live easy lives, have much wealth, or much freedom, but they did have time.
What did they do with that time? Many of them belonged to (not just lived in) their community. They had places of connection and relationship. There were definitely downsides, but that people that were barely above indentured servitude had more time than we do says a lot about our technology and “labor-saving” devices.
We are often called to something greater than ourselves, but we seem almost afraid of it. The increase of loneliness, anxiety, and depression are all psychologically, emotionally and spiritually connected to the lack of the “something”.
Ruth, Ittai of Gath, Jesus’ disciples all made a decision to give up what they knew and had, even at great cost. All were facing the unknown. They chose to follow and surrender anyways.
1) The rich young ruler/man was given a choice and made a different one than our other examples. How often are we the rich young ruler, rather that one of the others?
2) What can you do to help others connect to something greater than themselves? What can we do as framily to help others connect to something greater than themselves?
3) Because we belong to “the church” we often think that we belong to something greater than ourselves (we do). However, we often still behave as if we don’t belong to that “something” and that it is at best inconvenient to be reminded that we do. Why do you think that is?