During today's sermon, I argued against the notion that people are so busy, that they have no discretionary time. First I invited the congregation to consider how much time they spend looking at their phones (or watching tv or browsing the internet). Then I invited them to consider how devout Muslims, who face the same challenges in life, find the time to pray five times each day. In the end, it is less about how many things we have to do, and more about what we prioritize in our lives.
At the same time, it is dangerous to conclude that following Jesus is just about doing a little more in order to fulfill our religious obligation. The reality is that Jesus doesn't want just a little more of our lives, but all of our living. This is demonstrated beautifully in the calling of Simon, Andrew, James, and John. They walk away from their jobs in order to follow Jesus.
I don't think that Jesus asks many of us to give up our vocations or family obligations. But I do think that Jesus wants us to follow him with the same devotion as if we did. Jesus isn't looking for people who can respond to his call tokens of our devotion. Jesus wants to be at the center of our lives.
The scope of this call is scary. We'd like to think that Jesus would be happy with a couple of hundred dollars each month and a couple of hours of volunteerism a week. But Jesus wants more, lots more. The same Jesus promises: "whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it." (Mark 8:35 NIV)
What Jesus is saying is that those who are willing to let Jesus reprioritize their routine and upend their living in 2020 will find the life they are desperately searching for. Those who return back to business as usual, allowing Jesus a small portion of their daily lives will preserve cherished routines but will miss out on much greater joys.