While I was sitting in the train coupe I saw a man walk in with lots of luggage. He put it all on the seats in front of him and besides him. Strange, because the instructions were clearly to bring nothing. I wondered how the conductor would react when he sees this.
Just before the train would leave a woman entered the train. Her clothes showed that she was rich. Just in time she said. Without being asked she said “I had to pass the bank and take all my money out. When all is over I want to go back, for I like to live here. And because I’m not sure my house, or the bank office will survive the storm, I took it all, so I have enough to rebuild a nice home if necessary”.
I also saw a young woman with two children. She was crying a little and the kids were keeping themselves busy. One with reading a booklet. And the other was coloring a picture.
“Are you okay?” I asked. She understood I saw her wiping away a tear and nodded yes, and then no. More tears rolled over her cheeks.
I moved to her and sat down opposite of her. Then she started talking.
“My husband and I are already married for 10 years, we always did everything together, but now he insisted to go to the meeting in the townhall, but I wanted to take the train. He wouldn’t let me go, so when he went to get the car, I sneaked out with the kids, and now I’m here, without him. I love him very much, but I’m afraid I will never see him again.
I was trying to find words to comfort her, but the conductor interrupted me.
I was so deep in my mind with this woman that I hadn’t heard him coming in.
“What do you have on you?” he asked. I answered him that I had nothing, as I had left all behind. “You see”, he continued, “This is not free, it costs you all you have!”, “But I have nothing!” I stammered. Afraid that I had to get off the train at the next stop. “Okay, that’s how it should be” he answered.
Then he turned to the lady in front of me, and said to her “All will all be ok! I know what price you had to pay to be here, and you are most welcome!
His attitude changed when he came to the man with all that luggage. “How did you ever get on board of this train with all that luggage? Have you not heard that you were not allowed to bring any luggage? In a moment we will have a stop at the other side of town, and you can put your luggage off the train there!” The man protested. “You have a choice, you can put your luggage out of the train at next stop, or you can stay with your luggage if you like, then you and your luggage will go off the train! I’ll come back to assist you.”
Now it was the turn of the rich lady. She got the same question as he asked me. She told him that she had been to the bank to get money for a new start after the storm. “Well”, he said, “This train is not free, it costs you all you have! So you can hand me your money, or get off at the next stop!” She decided to get off the train.
At the next stop, at the other end of town, the conductor helped the man to get his luggage off the train and asked him, “And what do you do? Are you going with us, or are you going to stay with your luggage?” “I’m staying here he said”. Then the lady left the train, complaining that it costed to much.
A few other people came in, and the train left. Leaving two unhappy people behind.
When you come to Jesus, to go further with Him, you have to leave everything from your old life behind. You may try to hang on to some possessions or habits, like the man in the story who brought lots of luggage, but the moment will come that you have to make up your mind and choose between the world and Jesus. For many this will be a hard choice.
Also halfheartedly made decisions, like that of the rich lady in the story, will not work out. You cannot live half minded with Jesus, and with the other half make plans for a life in the world.
Some of us will have to make difficult decisions, like the young woman with the two kids. But it is a matter of eternal life or eternal death. It is okay if such a situation makes you cry, but be assured, God knows!
When choosing for Jesus you may have to leave things behind you love very much. For sure you will lose friends, when they don’t want to hear about Jesus every time, and specially when you talk about repentance.
It will be made clear to you and me that if we really want to follow Jesus, that we will have to leave everything from this world behind us. There should be nothing left on which we could trust, or build a new future. Following Jesus means to be fully depending upon Him.
Jesus knows what price you had to pay to follow Him, and to be IN HIM. He will comfort you and let you know that you are most welcome!
When you are rich, have a lot of possessions, or have a lot of money, you may have come to Jesus and give Him a hand, but with the other hand you are still holding on to what you had in the world. You too will be forced to a definite choice.
You may hold on to the world, it is your free choice, but if you do, you cannot be IN CHRIST.
On the other end, the invitation is still open. You can be IN CHRIST, but then you have to leave everything from this world behind.
What will be your choice?