When I was a child, one of the simplest toys we used to play with was dominoes. I never played it as the game intended. My only use for dominoes was to stand them aright like little soldiers in a line just to watch them fall.
After the pattern of my desire had been set, I tipped the first one, and that’s all it took. As the first fell, it tipped the second, and the second tipped the third, and so on until they all lay still in the place where they had fallen.
My designs were simple, but there are those who master intricate patterns and make designs on a grander scale. And when their first domino tips, a beautiful display of artistry and showmanship unfolds, mesmerizing the onlookers.
The time and talent it takes to perform such works are amazing. Investment of oneself is key for without that dedication the performance that brought the end reward would have never been accomplished.
And that’s how our lives pretty much go. Daily we are faced with a myriad of decisions and each of these decisions matters. Like dominoes, one will affect another, and then another, and so on, with not only the present moment of the decision being impacted but also the future that is to come.
With people being caught up in the here and now, the future, with its possibilities and consequences, is not the first thought on their minds.
On the other hand, there are those who are concerned about their future and want to know what they can do to improve its outcome, be it physical, financial, or relationally. The better investment of oneself in these areas is for a better turnout.
But what about spiritually?
There was a young man who came to Jesus and wanted to know about his spiritual future. He wanted to know what to do to gain eternal life (Mt. 19:16). Jesus’ response to him was to follow the commands of God (v. 17).
“All these things have I kept from my youth” (v. 20), the young man replied, and yet, was there something still missing? Did he feel a certain void?
I don’t have a definite answer, but I do know he pursued Jesus with more questioning, asking Him, “What lack I yet?”
“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Mt. 19:21).
Jesus’ response to his question of lack was not something the young man was expecting. The answer he had been looking for to secure his future was found in giving up everything and following Jesus.
He had a decision to make, and like those tipping dominoes, one would lead to another.
After processing what Jesus required of him, he went away (v. 22) and Jesus explained how hard it was for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, the eternal life he was looking for. It would be akin to threading a camel through the eye of a needle (Vv. 23-24).
With their thinking that the rich man had the better vantage point, the disciples were astonished at what Jesus had spoken and asked Him, “Who then can be saved?” (v. 25). Jesus plainly let them know, “With man this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (v. 26).
Thinking about their lives and the decisions each of them had made in walking away from everything and following Jesus, Peter asked Him, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Mt. 19:27).
That’s an important question, Peter. When you decided to wholeheartedly follow Jesus, the first domino fell. Everything that followed came from the ripple effect of your first choice. And while there may be many occurrences that happen in the middle thereof, the end result will be the very thing the young man was searching for but missed out on: everlasting life (v. 29).
When asked to follow Him, the young man turned away, but Peter, along with the other disciples, invested themselves and followed on.
The path to follow may not always be easy, but after all the dominoes have fallen, and all the choices have been made, one day we will look back over the story of our lives from the vantage point of salvation, and be mesmerized by the beauty of heaven before us, for that’s what will we have, and it is a glorious future to behold!
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