It always seems to me that sometime during the course of the year, I will come back to the story of the rich young man in my scripture reading and prayer. Last year I had my morality class write an essay on this particular passage. Here it is again today, Mark's version (10:17-27) Again I entered into it, wondering how it would speak to me this time.
Later today, I will sit for the final time before the scrutiny board that will conduct its final interview on the road to ordination to the diaconate. At that meeting, I will submit my letter and my wife's letter to our bishop, requesting to be called to Holy Orders. Then we will wait hopefully for his invitation. In my journey to this place, I have learned humility and obedience to the point that I understand that the "riches" being given up are not necessarily material ones, but also dreams of how I will serve God and enter the Kingdom. I now realize and accept that how I envisioned serving God may not be the way he calls me to serve. I am prepared to be ordained, most likely will be ordained, and I am prepared to serve wherever my bishop tells me to serve. It wasn't always like this. I once automatically assumed I would be ordained, and I assumed I would be at my home parish, and I had this dream of what life as a deacon would be like. No more. I have given that up for the reality of what is to come and that is that I do not know what is to come and I leave it entirely in God's hands. He knows and he will lead me.
This I know because he says so in the last verse of today's reading. It is impossible for me to get into the Kingdom without him. Sometimes the riches we need to give up are our "plans" for how God should work to save us and be humble enough to follow his.