What Is Worth Everything?

Last week, the news told us of the incredible story of the dog named Mason. Mason, a terrier mix, was swept away from his family's Alabama home while taking cover in the garage during one of the many tornadoes that have swept our nation in the last few weeks.  Mason’s family scoured the neighborhood, yet they could not find him. Eventually, amidst all the devastation, they gave up their hunt and tried to piece their lives back together.

Three weeks later, on a trip back to their devastated home to continue the cleanup, the family found Mason with two severely broken front legs sitting on the steps waiting for them. Wherever he had been carried away to by the storm, he would have had a tough, painful crawl back to his home.  Yet Mason had not given up.

The story of Mason reminds me of the story of one of our cats, Esa. Esa is a hit-by-car survivor.  That’s like a cancer survivor in the cat world.  Hit-by-car cats are tough. When I saw her by the road after being hit, I thought she was dead.  Over a few days and lots of tender loving care, she was successfully nursed back to health. However, one of Esa’s legs never healed properly, so she walks on three legs.

One day, Esa hopped into our minivan when nobody was looking. Lindsay then took our van and the kids to the Dollar Store in Hicksville. While unloading the kids, Esa appeared from wherever she was hiding and hopped out of the van. Lindsay searched for her and called her name, but Esa was lost in the middle of Hicksville. (Next time you see a crazy lady screaming a name in a parking lot, maybe she isn’t really crazy. Maybe she is just looking for her cat.) 

I even took a turn driving down there and looking for her. Nothing. We lost Esa.

But Esa had not lost us.  Three days later, Esa appeared at our doorstep five miles from the Dollar Store. She had made the journey home on three legs. She knew that this was the home where she was loved. And, probably most important, she knew that we feed her.

Like Mason, she sacrificed and struggled to get back to her family.

This all reminds me of one of Jesus’ teachings.

Jesus taught, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” [Matthew 13:44 (ESV)].

Do we want to experience God’s Kingdom as much as Mason and Esa wanted to be with their family? Do we give our quest for the Kingdom of God our all?  Do we give everything up so that we can be smack dab in the middle of God’s will?

Is God glorified by the spending choices we make? Is He glorified by the way we use our time? By the words we say? By all of our strength? By all of our mind? Or do we just give Him a little? Or maybe we give Him a lot? But He doesn’t want just a little or a lot. He wants our all.

Mason and Esa would not have made it home if making it home was not the desire of their hearts. There was much pain, many obstacles, and a neverending perseverance.

Oftentimes, we miss seeing the greatness of God transform our reality because we lack the commitment that these amazing pets have shown. Being a follower of Jesus is not about a moment where we say the sinner’s prayer, raise our hand in response to an invitation, go through confirmation, or participate in baptism. It’s more than just an initial starting point of surrender. It is a life of total surrender.

When we stop just going through the motions, just going to church, just singing songs of praise, just professing Jesus with our mouth, or maybe we are not even doing that much - when we begin to live a life of total surrender to His will, then we will see our world and the world around us start to shape itself into God’s will. The person who is robbed the most from my lack of total surrender to Jesus and His will is me. May we find the strength, like Jesus taught in His parable, to give everything up for the Kingdom of God. It is worth it.  Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is worth selling everything for.  May God help us with our unbelief.