Curt with Ivory at the Old House.
My son Clint and I walked out of the camp office together.
As we exited outside, there was Ivory grinning her silly smile, as she expectantly thumped her big tail against the wall. I challenged Clint to a test, “Clint, let’s stop here and find out who Ivory really loves the most. You go north to the road and I’ll go east to the Tabernacle. Whom she follows will show her true allegiance.”
He reluctantly agreed to my challenge. I was confident she would follow me because of how faithfully she always follows me each day.
We both agreed not to look back until we had walked to our respective spots. As I walked the seventy-five feet to the Tabernacle, I expected at any time to hear the sound of her steps behind me. I held off looking for as long as I could. Reaching the sidewalk I stopped, and looked over to Clint.
He had also stopped at his spot, the same distance from our starting point, but Ivory had followed neither of us. There she sat right where we’d left her, anxiously looking back and forth from one of us to the other. She excitedly wagged her tail and moved her front legs as if to come to one of us. Then she resumed her looking as if she was saying “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe….”
As we approached each other, Ivory left her spot and ran to us, arriving just as we met.
I felt guilty for putting her in such a tough position. I promised Clint that I would not bother him anymore about whom Ivory loved best. She evidently loved both of us equally.
The words of Jesus came to me as I thought about Ivory’s allegiance. Jesus clearly stated that no man can serve two masters. In the Sermon on the Mount, he clearly spoke of allegiance and dedication,
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
The scariest part is this: many times, we stand and look back and forth at which master we will serve. The other object drawing us away from God is often something good, but anything that blocks our communion and dedication to God is harmful, no matter what it is. We must not settle for good when we can have the best– a close intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus meant it when he said we can only serve one master
Yes, Jesus hit the nail on the head. We cannot serve two masters. Just as Ivory whined at being unable to choose between her two masters, we are most unhappy when we are in the no man’s land of attempted dual allegiance.
Sometimes, the most miserable person in the world is not the person who has no room for God in their life. Yes, that person is unhappy and unfulfilled. However, there is probably no worse spot to be in than attempting to be both a follower of Jesus and the world. May we constantly be reminded of the love and grace of Jesus. Let us never forget His strong call for us to forsake this world and our own wants to wholeheartedly follow Him, this Amazing Jesus, the Son of the Living God.
“Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…
…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15
From the book, The Old House, by Curt Iles