I saw a sign once in a restaurant washroom that made an edilible impression on me. This was a small little diner, with one washroom. Someone had nailed the sign on the inside of the bathroom door, at eye-level, so that when a person entered and turned to shut and lock the door, they couldn’t help but be faced with an unsophisticated truth: The sign read, “The length of time a minute takes depends on which side of the door you are on.”
My wife says,” Honey, will you take out the garbage?”
I say, as I watch a tremendous catch or throw or goal on television, “Yeah, hon. I’ll take it out . . . in a minute.”
But on more than one occasion, I have walked into the kitchen, after a minute, and I couldn’t find the garbage. The reason I couldn’t find it was that my wife got tired of walking around it, and took it out herself. The “in a minute” a wife waits for, after she has neatly tied a garbage bag and readied it for disposal, is not the same “in a minute” the husband experiences as he watches his favorite team on their way to victory.
You may not have thought about it, but the word minute is not in the Bible. The word may not be, but the concept is. I saw it this morning in the gospel of Luke, chapter 9. The people followed the Bread of Life and watched as the Lord of the loaves and fishes fed five thousand folks. They followed along behind the Physician, as He healed a boy possessed with demons. Yes, they’d seen quite a bit in the last several days, so much so, in fact, that now they were ready to follow Him anywhere.
They walked, a motley, dotted line that followed Truth. The people who followed Jesus were inspired, enthralled, and captivated by the presence of the Master. They would follow this man to the ends of the earth—well, . . . maybe they would follow Him to the ends of the earth, depending on how far it was. In the midst of this parade, Jesus issued a peremptory call—simple to understand, impossible to ignore. It demanded a response.
He said,” Follow Me.”
A moment of truth. The man next to Jesus mumbled something about needing to bury his father first, but what I think he really meant was, “Right. I’ll follow, but give me a minute. I have some personal matters that I need to attend to first. It shouldn’t take too long: I’ll be with You in a minute.”
Another guy in line heard the dialogue, and chimed in, “I’ll follow you, too, but first I need to go back and say good-bye to my family. “ He seemed to be saying, “I’ll follow You, unless what You mean by that is that I can’t keep some reasonable ties with my former life. If that’s what You mean, then I’ll need a minute.”
We don’t know who they were. We don’t know if their minute was ever up. We don’t know if they ever buried their dead or said goodbyes. We don’t know if they ever followed Jesus after this conversation. The Bible doesn’t say.
Jesus didn’t say He was sorry. He didn’t seem to have any regrets that He had called at an inconvenient time. Jesus doesn’t have to apologize for calling men and woman to a place of obedience and sacrifice . . . and immediacy.
He almost seems to be saying,” If you’re going to be a follower, then follow Me. Don’t try to mix your old life with New Life. Don’t look back. Don’t take your eyes off the Truth.
Jesus said, “I am the Door,” in John chapter 10 and verse 9.
Don’t take a minute or waste a minute . . . or wait a minute, because minutes have a way of becoming lifetimes, and the length of time a minute takes depends on which side of the Door you’re standing on.
I am the door.