Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.
- Luke 9:61-62
I mentioned at the beginning of this series that someone with a wandering eye will not be able to plow straight. To get a straight line, you have to focus on a spot beyond the end of the field. The same thing can be said when making a sketch and you need a straight line. You have to focus.
A Charles H. Spurgeon quote comes to mind. “Don’t stop the plough to kill a mouse. Do not hinder important business for the discussion of a trifle.” This admonition of Jesus is not just about family, it is about anything that detracts from our relationship with Jesus. In that sense, our discussion of ‘important business’ is less important than the Important Business of our relationship with Jesus.
The fifth commandment may be to Honor your Father and your Mother, but it never says that you have to stay at their feet until they pass away. My mother interpreted the verse as such. She stayed near her elderly parents until they were both gone. By then, the roots were deep. She never wanted to live anywhere else, but she resented me not doing the same for her. I was not honoring her as she wanted to be honored.
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, says the following:
(About family) “We put our sense of loyalty to our relatives ahead of our loyalty to Jesus Christ, forcing Him to take last place. When your loyalties conflict, always obey Jesus Christ whatever the cost.” … (Regarding distractions in general) “The person who says ‘Lord, I will follow you, but…’ is the person who is intensely ready to go, but never goes. This man has reservations about going. The exacting call of Jesus has no room for good-byes; good-byes, as we often use them, are pagan, not Christian, because they divert us from the call. Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop.”
The song, Every Time We Say Good-bye, concludes that every time you say good-bye, you die, a little.
Don’t die. Live in Christ. The phone is ringing. Aren’t you going to answer?