Imagine standing in front of wooded land. The underbrush is thick where a path has yet to be made. Imagine a foreman handing you a fine, wooden shovel, and saying, “Alright, you know what to do. Get to work!” What is this work that he’s talking about?
Just a day earlier you saw an ad in the newspaper looking for workers to come out to the nearby wildlife refuge and make hiking and scenic trails throughout the park. You yourself love to visit that park and figured that helping out with the new trails would be a great way to “give back.” But now that you’ve seen the work at hand–the very hard, grueling, back-breaking work that will cost a sacrifice rather than pay you with immediate pleasures–, what do you do?
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
To another he said, “Follow me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
When asked who he was–if he was Elijah, the Prophet, or even the Christ–John the Baptist responded, “I am the voice of one crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord” (John 1:19-23, Isaiah 40:3)….
Are we making straight the way of the Lord? Are we working, even toiling for the spreading of his glory and fame? And if Jesus came up to you and me today and said, “Here’s the cost of being my disciple and the work and sacrifice that’s at hand… Come and follow me.” What would we say to him? Would we drop everything… EVERYTHING…to follow him? Would we glance back at all that we thought before were gifts of blessings and favor? Or would the promise of his presence and a life spent for him be of surpassing worth, enough to spur our feet forward and to set our hands to the plow?