As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”…Mk 10: 17-27.
It was a fairly common type of discussion between a doctor and his spouse. By expanding the breakfast room, we could fit more of the family around the table and enlarge the pantry to provide more storage space. Our discussion centered around building plans, affordability, interest rates, etc. “Would we rather spend the money on this or some other project for the house?” Everything fit and we decided that we could go ahead. Then my wife asked an additional question, “Okay, now that we know we can do this, how does it glorify God?”
Sometimes we miss the right answers in life because we don’t ask the right questions. Sometimes we think to ask the small questions, but fail to ask the big questions. The rich young ruler came to Jesus with a really big question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Hopefully, we as Christian doctors have got that answer right and know that it is all about His sacrifice and not our merit. But, once we have accepted His gift of grace, life gets complicated in the part where Jesus tells the young man to, “Come, follow Me.” The rich young ruler never got that far, but we have. Jesus says the same to us, and for the rest of our lives this following demands some routine big questions in our every day decision making. Why don’t I ask them? As I make decisions in my life, I usually rely on my reason, my common sense and my conscience to lead me forward in the right direction. But, as I look back on my life, I am discovering that this approach has not always kept me on God’s path. My own desires are sometimes too strong---even for my Bible based conscience and well educated reason. I am discovering that I need to stop before major decisions and take a “time out”, like a surgeon in the OR. During that halt I need to ask big questions, like the one my wife asked, “How does this glorify God?” and other big questions like, “Will this draw others closer to or farther from Jesus?” and, “Do I trust God with the outcome?” and others. A great book was once written around the question, “What would Jesus do?”
Certainly, asking these questions won’t guarantee that I will make the right decision; I still may get it wrong because of my self-nature. But at least I bring it to the King and ask His opinion; at least I attempt to line things up with His ultimate purpose for my life, so that I might not waste time on pleasant side trails when the Lord has laid out a glory road for me to follow.
Dear Father,Let me stop before my major decisions and ask the big questions and let me answer them with my obedience to Your will. Amen