Once upon a time long, long ago there was a young man that was on top of the world. He was a good guy, followed the rules, obeyed God’s will, and felt as if he was very blessed. Like many of us, he related blessings to money and he was rich so, I’m sure that he felt “richly” blessed. This concept isn’t foreign to us, because most of us have bought in on the idea. Living in the richest nation in the world and hearing the gospel of blessings makes us comfortable that our riches are deserved because after all, we are mostly good guys, we follow the rules, we try to obey God’s will – so naturally being righteous – we deserve every hard earned dime that we have.
Oops, I lost track of my story –
Seems our young wealthy guy heard about a man that had answers to some of his questions. Especially the question about security.... long term security. You know that is a question that lots of people with money seem to be asking all the time. “Do I have long term security?” “Where will I be in the ‘future?’”. I see television commercials all the time telling me that I need to secure my future.... That was the question on the mind of this wealthy young man the day he met this advisor........ an advisor that could answer definitively about the security of the future of this young man.
When they finally met – this young man and the advisor, there wasn’t any hesitation from the young man in his questioning. He quickly outlined his current strategy and the advisor just as quickly provided the answer. Then the conversation ended abruptly and the wealthy young man – with his head bowed and his proud shoulders slumped, walked away from the advisor. The advisor had given him the absolute answer to a secure future but, the instant that the young man heard the answer, he knew that the risk was too great and he was too far along in another investment strategy. I mean, how could this advisor have expected him to take all this risk? This advisor was asking him to stop what he was doing and give up everything he had always believed in – and then, this advisor – who probably doesn’t even have an investment portfolio – was asking him to just follow him. What a crazy idea! Give up financial security, comfort, all of these God given blessings that he had earned to follow someone that wants complete change........crazy!
Is this what my reaction would be if I met the same advisor? Of course I’ve met him and he is the one that gave us this parable so that we too would be warned about how to secure our future. He gave us this parable so that we would understand what “investment strategy” is necessary and what he expects from those of us that claim him as our savior, our ultimate advisor. It is so sad that we confuse wealth with the true blessings that our God promised, and that we have bought off on the idea that we are “God’s special people” just because we happened to have been born in the world’s richest nation. It is sad that we can read the parable about the rich young man and not be hit between the eyes that the message is for all of us too! What have we given up to become a follower? Did we ever change? Sell our stuff and give the proceeds to the poor? Does my life reflect what I claim to be