If I was to devise an instrument that could measure my commitment and dedication to Christ I imagine it being something like the measuring device in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ Remember the scene at the end of the film strip (yes, I’m that old) where the Grinch realizes the true meaning of Christmas and experiences a spiritual transformation that grows his heart so much he breaks the measuring tool?
If I were to measure my commitment and dedication today it would look more like the heart in the illustration above. Want to know how I know? Allow me to share a transcript from an actual conversation I had with my friend Kate this week:
ME: I heard about a cool David Nasser study called ‘Call to Die’. I’m kind of interested in doing it.
KATE: Really what’s it about?
ME: Dying to self. He asks you to fast on the world and feast on Christ for 40 days.
KATE: So he wants you to not watch TV and stuff?
ME: Yeah, so I don’t think I can start it until this season of American Idol is over.
True story…really. While this is not my proudest moment it is certainly one of my truest. With that story in mind Mark 15:40, 41 really stood out to me in today’s readings. 40 Some women were watching form a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for His needs. Many other women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem were also there.
When I read the Gospels I always admire the Disciples commitment to Jesus’ calling. They dropped everything, left everything, sacrificed everything to follow the Son of Man. They became His friends and confidants and were given full, front row access to the most amazing events in all of history. How cool. I would love to be a companion to Him; to travel with Him; to discuss culture, news and scripture with Him; break bread with Him; pray with Him. I think that if I was offered this (emphasis on this) unprecedented opportunity I would drop everything to accompany Him on His journey.
Now, what if I were offered the opportunity that was given to the women mentioned in verses 40 and 41. Their deal was ‘Leave everything and follow me as I preach though out all of Galilee watching from afar while being completely dedicated to my service, caring for the needs of me and my Disciples, for as long as it takes’. This doesn’t sound like much fun but these women had an extraordinary measure of commitment and dedication. They knew that they owed all they had to the one who healed them and were willing to humbly serve Him and take advantage of any opportunity to be near Him.
The commitment and dedication that these women had for Jesus would certainly bust my Heart-O-Meter. Unlike me, they took the Call to Die challenge despite what was going on in their world. Full disclosure: I am not ready to do the ‘Call to Die’ study (yet) American Idol or not. But I am ready to begin praying for Him to remove my commitment to self and replace it with a call to death.