By Robert Halsey Pine
As Jesus was challenged, so must we: “…Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:51-62 NRSV).
Jesus keeps reminding us that if we follow Him, we must be prepared for full-time work. On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus is focused to the point of being rude to those who speak to Him along the way. He has no time to waste words on those who make casual commitments to follow Him. He is direct and warns that the journey is long and He himself has nowhere to lay His head. He’s on the move. He’s not thinking about making camp.
Our relationship with Christ is not a casual thing. It is signing on for the duration. It’s one of those big round candies on a stick that you find at carnivals: an “all day sucker.” And why not make the commitment? Once we’ve experienced the love and Grace of God, we’d be fools not to get on board. There are distractions for even the most dedicated Christians. We think that God is going to be there for us, so we put him on hold while we take a little diversion. It doesn’t work that way. There are no guarantees away from God.
We must discipline our lives so that we incorporate things into our daily living that keep us connected with God. Ways of letting Him in on everything that happens in our lives can be carefully crafted so that we never have to go far to be in His presence. Indeed we have a friend in Jesus. He can be with us in all sorts of places: work, ballgames, parties, gardening or prison. He is everywhere in all kinds of circumstances.
The irony is that when we make that commitment, He is not with us on our journey so much as we have packed up our lives to follow Him on His journey. So think about it, what’s better? Should we camp out in our own place or pack up and follow Him who “has nowhere to lay his head”?
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.