Read 1 John 4:11-21
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12, NRSV).
Have you ever seen the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? In the story we learn that Indy, as he is affectionately called, always wanted a relationship with his father who was always too busy studying lore on the Holy Grail to pay much attention to his son. Thus, the two grew a part from each other. Through the course of the film, Indy rescues his dad and discovers the place that the Grail is hidden. During the adventurous race to reach this place, the father and son are brought closer together than they ever had been. It was a frustrating process, with the two bickering back and forth; however, slowly but surely the two began to bond in a way they had never predicted.
Upon reaching the place where the Grail supposedly was, Indy’s dad was shot by Nazis in an attempt to get Indy to go through a series of tests and acquire the Grail. To make a long story short, Indy is able to retrieve the cup and is able to save his father’s life; however, in the process the Grail falls into the hands of the woman who betrayed them and, as she tries to carry it out of the temple, an earthquake occurs causing the floor to crack open and the Grail to fall into the crack.
Indy attempts to reach the fabled artifact, which is lying on a ledge. If he could only reach another inch or two he could have the very thing his father had been looking for his whole life. But there, in the moment, a voice called out to Indy. “Let it go,” the voice cried! “Indiana, let it go.” The voice was that of Indy’s father, who was holding his one arm in order to keep him from falling. At that point, Indy heeded his father’s advice and he reached up with his other hand and was pulled to safety. The two rode off into the sunset, realizing that the true treasure was the gift of having each other.
The point in recounting this tale is that it parallels our experience in this world. We often are trying to attain things that seem so important to us that we fail to see what the true treasure of our lives is. As a result we get ourselves into places where we feel lost and alone. We find ourselves dangling on the edge of despair, hoping that if we reach just a little bit farther we can get what it is we are looking for. But what is it, exactly, that we are looking for?
We grasp for success, for money, for status, for fame and for other things all in the hope that we can be assured we are not alone. We seek to be loved and accepted by someone, by anyone who will give us that acceptance. Yet, in those pursuits we find ourselves, like Indy and his dad, more alone and separated than we ever could have imagined. If we would only pause a moment and listen, we would hear the voice of God calling out to us, “My Child, let it go.” If we would only listen to the voice of God, we would let go of what we are grasping for and grab the truth that we are not alone.
How is it that we are we not alone? How does God end up fulfilling the promise given to us throughout all of Scripture? Take a look around you. Do you see the people who surround you? Do you feel the love of those who have invested themselves in you? Do you recognize the strangers who have been hospitable to you? If so, then you have experienced the presence of God in your life. You need look no further. You need only to let go of the straws you are grasping for and embrace the true treasure that God has placed in your life, the treasure of relationships. Fear not, for you are not alone!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” – Jesus of Nazareth, (Matthew 18:20)
Lord, help me to let go of all of the things that take me away from the true treasure of your presence through relationships. Amen.