As I sauntered through the congested halls of the university I attend, I could hear a young girl conversing with her friend as they were leaving one of the campus coffee shops. Typically, I do not make eavesdropping a regular practice; however, I could not help but pay attention to this student’s proclamation. “I am going to sell my ovaries for an iPod.” I could not help but laugh to myself at her predicament. She so badly craved to be part of the crazy fad we call digital music, to own the oh-so-recognizable white magical music machine, that she was willing to sell her reproductive organs. I continued walking down the hall, amused by the fact that in the two seconds it would take me to hand over the iPod I was carrying in my backpack, I could suddenly have spare ovaries in my possession. But because I had no need for ovaries, I left my iPod where it was and continued on my way.
However, the thought stuck with me the rest of the day. As I already mentioned, I am an iPod owner. I did not make my purchase hastily though. Months and months of debating—“Do I really need this? Am I just trying to be trendy?” For anyone who knows me, they know that I am a definite music lover. I am constantly asking people, “What are you listening to?” in hopes of finding new music to check out. I spend hours scouring the Internet to find the one band that no one has ever heard of, and then I claim that I discovered them before anyone else would deem them “cool.” No, I do not own a sick amount of vinyl or know every label by name and the artists they represent … I do not even have a stereo in my bedroom (which, as a college student, seems essential). I do, however, own more than 400 CDs, travel a great deal and do not enjoy lugging huge binders everywhere I go. This was the deciding factor for me. I was enough of a music geek to purchase my very own iPod. In my mind, it had been justified.
“I am going to sell my ovaries for an iPod” kept replaying over and over in my head. Her statement not only replayed itself, but also began to haunt me later on that night, distracting me from my studies. I began to think, “What would I be willing to sacrifice for an iPod?” At the time, I felt it to be such an important purchase, but as I began to consider what I would have sacrificed for it, it suddenly lessened in value. My initial pondering then led to a rabbit trail of thoughts regarding sacrifice. What would be my ultimate sacrifice in life? What would be worth sacrificing everything?
My small group has been reading through Matthew recently. There is a passage in chapter 8 where Jesus talks about the price of following Him. One of the disciples says to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus replies, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” This passage has always boggled my mind. It seems that Jesus is so insensitive to this man’s grieving. However, as I began to think about it, this was the most important decision this man would ever make. This was a deciding factor in his life—if he was going to follow Jesus or not. It was a decision of sacrifice—Will I leave my father and family to their grieving in order to make a decision that will be life-changing?
I “said the prayer” as a small child and grew up believing that I was following Christ. However, I have just recently come to the conclusion that I never left the dead to bury the dead. My sacrifice for Christ was shallow. “I’ll follow You (when it’s easy), God.” “God, You’re so good (when things in my life are in order).” “You amaze me (when You give me what I want).” As a college student who is a year away from graduation, I have been wondering what the future holds and where I will end up. My thoughts have revolved around the idea of “Where will I live?” and “How much will it cost me?” instead of “How will I live?” and “Will it be worth something?” This question plagues me as I continue on my journey: What is worth sacrificing to follow Christ? Sure, in my mind, I know that trading my ovaries for an iPod is not worth it. However, what is worth trading for Christ? What am I clinging to so tightly that He desperately wants me to let go of? As silly as I thought the girl’s proposition was—to trade her ovaries for an iPod—she knew what she would sacrifice to get it. That leaves me with this question, “Do I know what I would sacrifice to get it—a life lived in the footsteps of Christ?”
I am still learning what that looks like in my journey, but my eavesdropping has given me a new way to approach my walk …
[Tory Dolan currently lives in Wisconsin and hopes to pursue writing in a ministry related field. Tory is a new RELEVANTmagazine.com intern, but has been writing for fun and can be reached on her own little part of the web: http://rainofwonder.blogspot.com.]
READ MORE LIFE | POST COMMENTS BELOW