In an old legend, Jesus said to his follower named Gorun, “Go pitch a tent on Mount Carmel, and stay there for a time of meditation and prayer.” Gorun did as Jesus asked.
One day Gorun went into the nearest village and asked, “Please give me a blanket. Rats have gnawed on my old one, and I can’t sleep.” The villagers gladly gave him a blanket, but Gorun returned repeatedly because the same thing had happened. Someone finally suggested, “We’ll give you a cat to solve your problem for good.”
After a few days, Gorun was back. “Could
you please give me some milk for the cat?” Realizing the need would be
ongoing, the villagers decided to give him a cow.
again, “I need something to feed the cow.” They gave him a plot of
land. Gorun then asked for workers for the land, then for materials to
build houses for the workers, and so on.
Years later, Jesus went
to see his beloved disciple. A fat man greeted him and asked, “What
business brings you here? What would you like to buy?” Gorun, now a
rich businessman, didn’t even recognize his master.
Christians tell stories like this in persecuted nations where government officials often try to entice Christians to give up their faith and ministry activities in exchange for important jobs and more money.
Sometimes we need a story to see something in a different light, to remind us of what is important and keep us focused on the task ahead. We may not be offered a cat or a cow, but our adversary often tempts us in other ways to get us off track. He offers security in our homeland so we’ll resist going to other countries with the gospel. He will use God’s blessings as distractions—a mate, a family, or a job—to make us so preoccupied with life that we neglect our mission. What does this story reveal in your life that could be drawing you away from the Master? Have you been so busy with earthly tasks that you’ve neglected your spiritual mission?