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Mark 12:28-31






I wish I could say I’m an ALL IN kind of girl. Someone who immediately says Yes….Let’s do it…Right now…and then jump right in like a kid into a swimming pool yelling, “CANNONBALL!”

I would like to say that.

But I can’t.

I’m a planner, deep thinker, every scenario played out, every conceivable problem solved in my head, every escape route plotted as I process the possible outcomes before I act.

And secured within all the planning, plotting and processing…I make sure and hold back a little something back for me.

Maybe it’s control or pride or safety or selfishness keeps my interests floating somewhere in my plans.

Okay…it’s all those things.

In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus gives us what is known as the Greatest Commandment.

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

(Here it comes.)

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mic Drop.

Jesus calls us to be ALL IN.

ALL your heart.

ALL your soul.

ALL your mind.

ALL your strength.

Not SOME. Not MOST. Not 99%.

ALL IN.

If this wasn’t convicting enough, Jesus adds a zinger: Love your neighbor as yourself.

No holding back something for me?

Are you sure, God?

It has been a difficult season to be ALL IN. Even with all my planing, plotting, and processing, I NEVER would have guessed the outcomes of the past few months.

As I’m writing this we’re in month FIVE (and counting) of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a roller coaster of toilet paper scarcity and businesses closing. Restaurants and churches having to set up outside to provide their services. Schools in California are closed. Distance Learning is a thing now. I have to make sure everyone grabs a face mask before we leave the house. I cut my own bangs.

People say it’s an unprecedented time.

It’s not.

There has always been something to challenge the norm: Spanish Flu, Yellow Fever, Bubonic Plague, Ebola. Pick up a history book or (let’s be realistic) Google it. We live on a dangerous, unpredictable place called planet Earth. Control is an illusion. We are all just an earthquake, tornado, cancer diagnosis, phone call from a family member, pandemic away from the realization that the only one who has control is God. As you read this, maybe something is happening in the world, in your world that with all your planing, plotting, and processing, you NEVER would have guessed would take place.

No matter the circumstance, we’re called to to…

Love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.

But only if I have a job. Nope.

But only if it’s convenient. Nope.

But only if it’s comfortable. Nope.

But only if they have the same beliefs as me. Nope.

But only if I agree with their political social media posts. Nope.

Our neighbors. No disclaimers.

What does this love look like? I can give you an example from a friend. Her neighbor was in need of toilet paper. She had two packages from which to choose. One was her favorite luxurious ultra soft 3 ply. The other was a store brand single ply. Which choice represents Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And your neighbor as yourself?

Ouch.

What would I have done?

What would you have done?

When my kids jump into a swimming pool cannonball style, they want to create the biggest splash possible. They hold nothing back. They want that wave of water created by their cannonball to ripple across the pool. And if others get wet from the splash? BONUS!

When we jump in and Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves and hold nothing back, those ripples of love and grace radiate out and touch other people. And if others get splashed with the love of Christ, dripping wet with the gospel? BONUS!

So this week, I’m going to keep my eyes open for the people God puts in this swimming pool called my daily life. How about you?

All In. No holding back. CANNONBALL!


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