Mt 19:23-30 Giving Up Your Dreams
“Jesus said, ‘Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven’…Then Peter said to him in reply, ‘We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, I way to you that you who have followed me, in the new age…will yourselves sit on twelve thrones. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.’”
I once considered myself a wealthy man. I still do, but my idea of wealth has changed considerably over the years.
Back in the good old days, while I was working in my fancy office and driving my fancy car, I thought I was living the American dream. And I was! I was living a dream and just a dream…or fantasy or tale. And it is not just American. Over the years, thanks to Hollywood, we have done an awesome job exporting our dream to others. We have shared the wealth by sharing with others our dreams. But the truth is: we don’t live like this; we don’t write our own endings.
One morning I woke up and made a decision that scared me to death. I set out not in search of a dream but of reality. I decided that I didn’t want to fall asleep and dream again. I was tired of being fooled. This great awakening marked the beginning of discovering the real presence of Jesus Christ, a presence more real than most people I knew (and know today).
What did I give up? I gave up sin, nothingness, and received blessing upon blessing. I exchanged hours of small talk for hours of honest dialogue. I replaced marginal friends with authentic friendships. Instead of taking care of myself, I understood that taking care of others was pleasing and good.
I thought I had given up the world. In reality, I had just given up on my own little world; in my self-confidence. And in exchange, I received Christ’s confidence in place of my own. I can honestly say that I have escaped from la-la land; from the dream of a perfect world and I am currently out of the “matrix”. I no longer indulge in the “Kool aid” of wishful thinking or in the idea of political saviors.
I thought I had given up on the finer tastes and smells of the world. I thought I would be left alone. Now, I crave for some time alone. I crave for silence, for prayer, for meditation and for the Lord’s senses. I wish to see as he sees and to feel as he feels.
Of course there will be moments when we all wish to fall asleep again; to seek that which does not exist; to go after the mirage. But I know from where these moments originate, and were they lead. They are just wishful thoughts caused by selfish thoughts. These moments are best described as circular thoughts or driving inside a cul-de-sac. This is one way we make the world appear so small.
Lord Jesus, you did not come into the world to make your followers rich, famous or successful. Rather, you said to your followers to be last, for the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Grant us Lord the grace to rise (as you did) from our slumber, and to share with others the reality of your life and love. We ask this in your name. Amen.