To another he said, “Follow Me!.” But he said, “Lord, let me go bury my father.”
Commitment anxiety is a common problem in relationships. Freedom is falsely understood as unlimited, unconstrained choices. But what happens when we actually choose something or someone? We limit our choices, of course, but we know a deeper freedom by doing so. When you fall in love, you must make sacrifices of time and energy, and you must the put the needs and desires of your beloved above your own, but these sacrifices and restrictions are not a burden hard to embrace, because they deepen the rewards of love.
This man’s father has not just died on the day he is asked to follow Jesus, or he’d be involved in the burial process. He is asking for an unlimited furlough until his father’s life is over and wants to keep his discipleship choice open until that indefinite moment. Meanwhile, he’ll miss the once in history work of the Son of Man and the events that become the hinge of history and the heart of the disciples’ witness.
Gracious God, Focus my heart on your will and ways. Do not let me push you aside as a later agenda item. Draw me close and let me find my freedom in commitment. Give time, today, a sense of urgency as I seek to fulfill your purpose. Amen.