About a year into our marriage, my husband accepted a job at Hampden-Sydney College, located right around Farmville, VA. At the time, the only thing I knew about Farmville was that it was a popular facebook game, but it was about to become our reality, not our fantasy world. For the first year or so that we lived there, I would describe it to people by saying, “It’s so small and rural that there isn’t even aTarget!” You see, we had spent the last year living in Arlington, where we paid to rent 500 square feet more than double what we paid in Farmville to rent our three bedroom house. The culture was all about how much money you made, what the next trend for restaurants or clothing was, or where you were heading for vacation next month. It was a bit of a culture shock to for me to move to Farmville, where if I needed to buy pretty much anything, I had to drive to Richmond.
The years we spent in Farmville were probably the most un-materialistic years of my life to date. We didn’t make very much money, but since there wasn’t anything to spend it on, it really didn’t matter. Despite that though, we were rich. We had our house, our cars, our cell phones, our cable tv…all the things we consider “necessities.” Even at that point in my life, though we didn’t have much to get rid of, if I had been asked to give up everything: our shelter, the food in our pantry, my pictures and computer, all to follow Jesus, I’m not sure I could have.
The story about the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 hits very close to home for me. Whenever I read this passage, I feel exactly as the disciples were described to be: astonished (v. 25). How is it possible? How could I get rid of everything and live day to day relying on God for food and shelter and other needs? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I feel called to do that – it would be burdensome for our family and our friends, but if I were called to that, could I?
Travis talked about being “wholly dependent” on the Lord this past Sunday – that the people who are wholly dependent on the Lord are those who are able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That is a hard concept to wrap my head around and truly something to aspire to. All I can say for now is thank goodness that “with men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible (v. 26).”