The annoying “Hate Your Family” passage in Luke 14:25-35 has plagued many a wanting Disciples. Luke presents this cutting view of discipleship as Jesus struggled with the “crowd” and circus potential of His ministry. These verses call out the comfort of a distant follower, challenging the integrity of their growth and intentions.
As I read the “hate” discussion I realize I, too, can only “follow” so far–chained to the comfort of affirmative readiness. I fall chained to my model of success. I fall chained to my model of worth. I fall chained to my model of strength and beauty. I fall to the model of all the family and social values that created my image of a competent and wanting-to-feel-loved-ME.
I don’t hate this model…I treasure it. The child in me needs that model as a guide to physical and psychologic comfort. I am in many ways paralyzed, bound to it— with only a vague wondering about the true FREEDOM of a discipleship journey.
Besides, hate is such a strong word. Really, must I hate? Can’t I just separate from the model peacefully, maybe dabbling in the comfort a bit when I hurt or am feeling inadequate? Can’t I rebel in it a bit to feel the pride of success in competition with over achieving friends? I promise to remind myself even weekly about the path of spiritual growth, maybe even “go deeper” in my faith with seminars and studies a couple of times a year. I just can’t let it all go. I am tied to the chains of my comfort.
Yet I continue to follow…..close enough to see the Cross.
The Lenten journey is the only road to freedom and the only path that truly embraces LIFE. Easter embraces Love beyond imagination and strong enough to break the chains of comfort. I will begin again there— with some hate of the chains. I will break free to Love.