Years ago, I burned out the clutch on my first car. It was a little, tan (i.e., dirt-colored) 1993 Ford Escort hatchback, with a manual transmission. We were living in our first house with a real driveway, and I was trying to get up enough speed from the road to overcome the lack of traction. By that time, we had 3 cars and 2 drivers in the family, so the Ford (after the driveway was later cleared) sat out at the top of the driveway.
One day, I was contemplating doing something about the car, so I mentioned something to my wife. She said (and, I paraphrase, of course), “The only reason we still have that car is your emotional attachment to it.” We then started the process of donating the car to a local school’s auto shop!
In the book of Mark (and, a parallel retelling of the event in Luke 18:35-43), a blind man named Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is nearby, and calls out to Jesus to get His attention.
Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.
Mark 10:50 NASB
At this point, it might be easy to forget a key point: Bartimaeus was blind and he drops his cloak. Sure, he could ask a friend to get his cloak later, but what if an unscrupulous bystander ran off with it? It’s not like Bartimaeus was going to chase after a thief in his vision-impaired state.
Instead, he realizes that this is his chance to be healed of his blindness. If he can receive that blessing, losing a cloak will become a minor frustration. And, if he is to take this opportunity, a cloak could slow him down. Bartimaeus had the kind of faith that allows him to make a real-time decision: running to Jesus, rather than holding onto his cloak.
In the same way, do we have elements in our lives that represent a lack of faith?
- Has God called me to step out in faith to a new job or ministry, but my current situation is just too comfortable?
- Are there people in my life who are pulling me away from the path that Jesus calls me to, but I’m not bold enough to decline their offers to join them in temptation?
- Am I piling up material goods (beyond what I need), instead of being generous, because I’m afraid that I might have to rely on my belongings instead of God?
I don’t know your situation, but perhaps God is calling us as individuals to throw off a cloak of some kind. Maybe we are holding on to something that is keeping us from following God with all our our energy. Perhaps our faith needs just a boost to move towards the next step that God has planned for us, leaving behind what is less important.
And, like all faith – when it is properly placed in Someone who keeps His promises – may our faith, like that of Bartimaeus, be rewarded:
And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, ” Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.
Mark 10:51-52 NASB