To pray is to listen, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what God may have to say.
- Madeleine L’Engle
Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:25-26)
Our Gospel reading on Sunday was from Luke 14 and included that bit about how if you don’t hate your father-mother-wife-children-siblings, you can’t be Christ’s disciple.
This passage always throws me for a loop. I know it’s about our priorities and putting Jesus first, and I hope it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be asked to choose between my children and Jesus. All the same, each time I hear this passage I wonder, If I had to choose... what would I do?
It’s hard to ponder what our treasures are here on earth, and how attached we are to them. It’s hard because it’s uncomfortable: We don’t want to know, don’t want to admit how high the cost of discipleship can be. Yet if we don’t acknowledge the price, chances are that if we’re ever asked to pay it we’ll choose wrongly, assuming, “Oh, God would never ask that!”
What are you attached to? What treasures—possessions, people, dreams, relationships, hopes—would be hard to sacrifice? It’s only when you know that you can pray Lord, I want You first in my life. I choose You even above ______.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.