“One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” ~Luke 18:22, NASB
I have a confession. I am driven by success. Truly. I thrive on the sparse waters of good grades, scholastic awards, athletic trophies, and more recently, writing recognition.
This habit of success-driven living is about as healthy as living on a steady diet of snickers and ice-cream. Not. Good. Instead of pursuing passionately after Christ, I find myself stuck–tied in knots because I’ve dedicated my energy to chasing personal achievements. For me. Because I want attention.
Our pastor relayed a story–one that is common, I suppose, among those familiar with Christianese. But it hit me where I needed it as I am mulling over living passionately for Christ. (Not for me. Sorry–I have to keep reminding myself. Bare with the slow learner here). Here it is, in the New Jen Version, because I don’t have access to the original.
There was a little girl who spied a string of pearls in the dress-up section at the toy store. She adored those white globes, and determined to have them. So, she saved and saved and purchased that string of toy pearls. And she loved them. Wore them everyday–wouldn’t even take them off to bathe.
One night her daddy asked, “Daughter, do you love me?”
He smiled. “Okay, give me your pearls.”
She sat in horrified silence and then shook her head. Her father left without the pearls.
The next night, the same conversation happened.
“Daughter, do you love me?”
Tears glistened her eyes. “Yes Daddy,” she choked.
“Okay, let me have your pearls.”
She refused again. This went on for a week, and on Friday, before her father sat down to tuck her in, with a trembling lip she held out her hand.
Her father sat, love shining in his eyes. “You love these pearls, don’t you?”
“Yes Daddy.” A tear slipped down her cheek.
“I know that.” He brushed the trail of moisture with his thumb and then reached into his pocket. “But I wanted you to have a real treasure.”
A string of real pearls settled on her neck.
God, please help me trade my plastic treasure for real pearls. Success is nothing when I compare it to an ordinary life lived for you.