June 4, 2017: A Rich Man Counts the Cost
Luke 14:25-33 (NIV)
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,
30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.
33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
The conversation in her room last night was brought to an abrupt halt by a false fire alarm. Just when Ruth Wilson was getting ready to finish her story someone in the dorm pulled a fire alarm and everyone had to exit the dorm. Becki never got to hear the rest of the story from Ruth last night.
What she heard resonated with her. She too had been angry at God for all the things that happened to her over the past several years. The death of her mother and brother were still very fresh and she found that her anger at God had not subsided much at all.
There was something that was startling to her though when she began to listen to Ruth Williams share her story last night. She found herself being drawn to listen to Ruth and just as she was beginning to feel for her the fire alarm went off and that was that.
As she walked across campus her mind was turned to the payment she would receive when the Williams were once and for all fired from the University. She began to dwell on all the things that $50,000 could buy for her. She thought about Barry Johannsen’s sports car he drove. She wondered what it would be like to be able to drive such a car. Her dad only bought her older models, nothing she really liked but they did work.
“Hey, Becki,” she knew the voice of Barry Johansen. They had met many times over the past several weeks as they plotted together to bring down the Williams. They had spent countless hours in the conference room on the third floor of the library scheming and plotting how it would all go down. Their plans, for the most part, were well underway and things did look like they were progressing very nicely toward their desired outcome.
“What is it Barry?” Becki said, not wanting to continue the conversation at all.
“I just was wondering what you thought of what Ruth Williams said last night,” Barry asked
“I don’t know what to think of it frankly. I was willing to listen to her but when that alarm went off and I just could not get myself interested in listening any further.’ Becki said wishing this conversation would end.
“Well, I have been thinking about what she said last night and I has got me asking some questions I did not think I would have the courage to ask.”
‘Just what do you mean Barry? You are not believing any of this nonsense that the Christians talk about are you? You are not wanting to become a Christian are you?” Becki asked almost condescendingly.
Well, I have been listening to the Williams at their house the two times we had dinner. Then there are a few others who call themselves Christian that have begun to challenge me in what I think. I don’t know either what to think of all this but I find myself being drawn to listen to them more every time I am with them, “Barry countered.
“Well, that is fine and dandy for you. I do want you to think about the cost of such a decision. Remember your father has invested a lot of his own money to see to it that this University rids itself of those who seek to undermine the real education on this campus by promoting an outdated belief in the Bible. I should think your father would not be happy if he knew what you are thinking<” Becki replied.
“I have thought about that too. I just do not know what I am going to do with all that I have heard in the past few weeks.” Barry said, contemplating as he spoke.