Lifestyles of the Rich, Young, and Sad (Mark 10)

He did everything right.

He was religious. He was prosperous. He was educated. He was respected.

He was one of Israel’s most eligible bachelors.

But something was missing. Something deep:

Peace with God at the soul level.

It all publicly culminated as he collapsed like a heap before the dirty feet of the one with answers, a good teacher. Like a pauper begging for a lonely morsel he’d go anywhere, give everything, do anything to quench this longing. What a humble posture for a man of his stature. Or so it seems:

Teacher what must I do to have eternal life?!

Pray a prayer? Follow a formula? Give some change to the good teacher’s cause? The answer should be simple enough, thought the young man.

The good teacher answers his question with a question. An enigmatic reply only a Jewish Rabbi could muster. And then He points to the Mosaic Law,

“Just do it.”

This dude must not know me very well, thought the young chap. I’ve kept the law obsessively since pre-K. I’ve tithed out of my spice rack, never touched an unclean woman, and I don’t even beat my servants on the Sabbath!

“Good sir, I kept this Law ever since I was a little boy.”

The most curious look washed across the good teacher’s face. Sadness and compassion at once converged in His deep dark brown eyes. Tears welled up but didn’t roll down as He responded to the boy:

“Then sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come follow Me for the rest of your life.”

Now

The golden calf is laid bare.

The sword is plunged into the heart of the matter.

It had been the question that had haunted the boy until now, but for the rest of his life the answer will haunt him even more. What mindless audacity from a sweaty carpenter with no pedigree, no land, and no following of consequence?

This couldn’t be.

He stood up slowly, downcast, and turned back to the fields of gold he came from. Rich. Young. Respected. Religious.

Full of sorrow.

Full of pride.

The good teacher watched the young ruler amble away without another word.

Sometimes the questions are complex and the answers are simple.

Sometimes we walk away sorrowful from the only One who can give real lasting joy.

Bryan Daniels

Time For A Cosmetic Change (Not The Joan Rivers Type)

Just in case you’ve noticed that the website is looking a wee bit different as of late…fear not. Your mind is not playing nasty tricks on you. I’m toying with a new theme. Thankfully, WordPress makes such changes delightfully easy. So if the new car smell wears off this new layout after awhile and I no longer like it I can flip the script back quickly.

This face-lift is entirely reversible…unlike the superficial butcherings of Hollyweird.

I felt a change was needed primarily for two reasons:

1. My son Gideon. He was born just over 10 months ago and I still didn’t have a quality photo up of him on the blog. So as a proud father I changed the “About Bryan” section to reflect the new blessing to our family, and also updated the header pic (which is a picture of Josiah kissing Gideon). The new photos are courtesy of Kansas Pitts. The previous blog header of Josiah was courtesy of Michael Newman. Both are excellent photographers if you are ever in the market for one.

2. User-friendly readability. I can get long-winded on some posts. The previous layout would include each post in its entirety on the home page whether you wanted to read it all or not. The new layout shows you a few teaser sentences and gives you the choice to read the full post. This layout appears more clean to me and makes it easier for frequent readers to quickly track previous posts they may be interested.

Also, the sidebar to the right is more prominently (obnoxiously?) displayed. Some of the links there are the best way to connect and interact with the blog. Please notice the huge “Subscribe” button on top of the right sidebar. I never do this, but let me shamelessly suggest you go ahead subscribe to the blog if you are a longtime unsubscribed lurker or reader. That’s the way to get the quickest blog updates and posts sent directly to your email. I don’t blog everyday so I’m not going to inundate/spam your inbox (promise!)

Hope you enjoy the new look. Peace and Grace.

Bryan Daniels