The denouement of the series. Jesus has multiple joys and excitement for those who outdistance their past or present limitations and go forward to him. That may mean we have to alter present behavior, minimize irreplaceable relationships from the past and assume accountability in discipleship we previously shunned. If we rise to the challenge and dare to go forward with him, we’ll wonder only why we didn’t do it sooner and didn’t do it better.
But what if we won’t go forward to him and with him in his new, difficult life? First, he allows us to stay where we are, where we’re comfortable, where we decide when and how to serve, where we accept the challenges we feel are within our capability.
Second, his willingness to honor our free-will doesn’t include his decision to retreat to our position. THAT he will never do. When he seeks servants of his new life, to be an example of his superior life, to walk or run or crawl forward to his higher level, he chooses those willing to change, wanting to change and paying the price to change.
The challenge to individual Christians, then: determine that you’re not going back to what you were. Indeed, determine that you’re not even content to be what you are. You’re determined to go forward to whatever Jesus has for you. If others we know insist on remaining in the comfort of old lifestyles, that’s their right, but don’t make it your problem. Jesus possesses excellence he’ll share with all who go forward with him. If others join, they share. If we go alone, we gain the advantage. Whatever, go to Jesus and stay with him. Advance into his greater life, however incrementally; and into his Infinite, Mysterious Presence, however fearfully. Above all go to and stay with Jesus. –Fini-