32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
Pack light. Be ready to go. Hold loosely to what you own or it will own you. Jesus isn’t just preparing us for His return one day, He’s preparing us for daily life and calling us to return to Him. If we aren’t careful we can get so caught up in our daily business that we are no longer about our Father’s business and we won’t be ready for what He wants to do. Make a clean break with the past. Burn the ships. What brought you here won’t get you there. And then, just before the crowd begins to roll their eyes and chalk this talk up to another call to an unrealistic asceticism Jesus speaks three words and exclamation point that grabs everyone’s attention- REMEMBER. LOTS. WIFE!
A chill went up and down their spine as they remembered the infamous woman described in the Torah as one who could not let go. Lot’s wife had been spared the fiery judgment but had left her heart and her belongings in Sodom and Gomorrah and was given over to the thing she valued more than obedience- her valuables. Everyone in the crowd that day could picture the pillar of salt in the shape of Lot’s wife. Salt was an extremely valuable commodity and so she became the very thing she could not let go. With these chilling words, Jesus makes it clear that the same thing will happen to us. We will become what we behold.
I’m kind of stuck on this Marie Kondo movement of Kon Mari that helps people to let go of anything in their house that doesn’t spark joy. I’m stuck on it even though, ironically, the whole thing does the opposite of spark joy in me. In point of fact, it annoys me that this sweet little Japanese Ninja is taking over my house. Cyndi is working hand in hand with her as she has gone through the drawers of three of our five boys already. They stand proudly at the fact that they have so much room and that when you open their drawers everything from their BVD’s to their board shorts is standing on its own like little soldiers in salute. I’m stuck on it because the process she encourages for our stuff is the same process Jesus encourages for our soul. Kondo puts it this way: “The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don't. Quests to faraway places or shopping sprees are no longer necessary. All you have to do is eliminate what you don't need by confronting each of your possessions properly.”
I like that word “confront”. I told you she was Ninja. It’s why Jesus tells us to remember Lot’s wife. He’s calling us to confront the comfort of stuff. He’s calling us to see that what we own now owns us and if we aren’t owned only by Him then we’ve got idols in our lives! The word Jesus uses for “remember” isn’t just a one time moment of holiness, but a daily holy habit of remembering. In the Greek, it means “to think of and feel for a person.” What must it have felt like for Lot’s wife? What did she leave behind that had such sway on her soul that she just had to look back to see if just by chance she could salvage it from the flames? What do I have in my life that I’m unwilling to surrender to the Lord? This word for “remember” also means “to hold in memory, keep in mind”. In other words, I need some way to keep remembering Lot’s Wife. Then, of course, I have to smile as I think about the fact that eventually, everything in my home will be a constant reminder not just of Marie Kondo, but Lot’s wife. Again, Kondo puts it so well, “People cannot change their tidying habits without first changing their way of thinking.”
I’m going into this Kon Mari method kicking and screaming though I know at the core of it is something You are doing in me, Lord. What do I need to ruthlessly rid from my life? Hurry? Worry? Yes and yes. I can’t cling to You if I’m holding on to everything else. Instead of turning back to my old comforts I choose to turn to You and move forward into the new things You have for me in this new year.