*any resemblances this parable may bear to true life experience are entirely purposeful.
Behold, a woman opened Facebook, saying, “Hivemind, what must I do to avoid the constant nausea and vomiting of morning sickness?” And the Hivemind said, “Saltines! Eaten exactly the moment you awake in the morning.” “Sparkling water!” “Ginger candies and ginger tea and gingerbread cookies — they’re failsafe.” “Just keep eating. All the time.” The young woman said to herself, “But I have kept all these since 6 weeks’ gestation. What still do I lack?” And her own heart said to her, “Why do you ask for a magic recipe to avoid the general (sometimes suffering) effects of bringing new life into the world? If you would avoid this great transformative task, do not become pregnant.” And the young woman went away resolved, because she desired even more to be changed by her relationships (like the one with the little babe inside her) even more than she desired to spend less time on her bathroom floor.
How often do I, like the rich young man(Matthew 19:16-22) seek the the quick fix that promises to alleviate my discomfort rather than accepting the realities of my present condition and using the opportunity to grow in faithfulness? The rich young man has been given a great gift — and it’s not Jesus who approaches him to wrest the wealth from this young man’s hands, but the young man himself who begs the judgment as he asks for a tip to achieve eternal life — instead of enjoying the gift and seeking to use it always for God’s glory, this parable exposes how our human nature seeks affirmation and often tries to find it by following rules better than anybody else. “What rule can I follow to be perfect?” “What tip can I undertake to — poof — not suffer morning sickness?”
What quick fix can I enact to avoid the messiness of discipleship? (spoiler alert: there’s no quick fix in following Jesus. Ever.)