“Fear of Missing Out” – we all experience it. You aren’t able to be where everyone else is and you are constantly wondering what is going on or what you are missing. You are asked to do something and you wait until the last minute to give an answer because you want to make sure that it is the best option before you commit. It can be paralyzing and prevents you from truly enjoying what you are doing at the moment because you are pre-occupied with the idea that you might have been better off doing something else.
While the term is new to this century, the people of Joshua’s time were living the same reality. They liked the idea of following the Lord, but wanted to keep their options open. If I truly give my life to the Lord, what are all the things I will miss out on? Joshua calls them to something better, to be all in or all out so that they can fully embrace where they are.
The second reading brings a scary concept into the mix: obedience … submission. There is a long version and a short version of this reading that we can choose for this Sunday. Part that is often omitted is a contentious, though critical part: “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands.” Why would any self-respecting woman do that‽
What are we really asking of people when it comes to obedience? What does it mean to be subordinate or submissive as some translations say? Breaking down the word submission helps us to understand. Sub-mission: we are calling the wife to be under the mission of the husband. So, what then, is the mission of the husband? “Husbands, love your wives.” Paul goes on to explain how the husbands are called to sacrifice for their brides and give them every good thing. What woman doesn’t want to be under that mission?
So often we don’t want to be obedient. We think we know better or want to remain in the driver’s seat in case we figure out something better. Our faith calls us to a far more peaceful and joy-filled option – submission. Sometimes our faith asks things of us that are hard or that we don’t understand: to have the hard conversation, to go out of our way to do something more, to say no when we want to say yes. We find ourselves asking the same question from the Gospel … this is hard, who can accept it? The apostles understood that Jesus is offering something better than any other option and that the benefits far outweigh the cost if only we are willing to follow Him.
Jesus allows us to make our choices. He echoes Joshua’s question and asks, “Do you also want to leave?” As Jesus asks you that question in the choices of your week, will you choose to submit to the Lord’s beautiful plan for you? Will you be all in? Will you respond, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord?”