Mark 10:17-22 - 17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Have you ever carried cinder blocks? They can be pretty heavy, usually about 35 pounds of dead weight. How long do you think you could run, at a full sprint, if you had to carry two or three cinder blocks with you? Around the block? A mile? 2 miles? Eventually the blocks would win, and you would need to stop. We all have rocks like these in our lives, things we carry with us that weigh us down. For some, like the rich young ruler in Mark 10, it is wealth; he was not willing to give up his extravagant life to follow Jesus. For others it might be our lack of wealth, or family problems, or physical abilities, anything that prevents us from following God with our whole heart.
We like to find excuses; we will lean into any reason we can think of to not do something. The call of Jesus is deceptively simple: put your past away and follow me. We have these things we carry around with us that only serve to slow us down. What can you let go of? What do you need to leave behind? What will give you the freedom to follow Christ with all your strength?