Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his, The Cost of Discipleship, points out to us how it's all about obedience, in becoming and in being a follower of our Lord. And a radical obedience. He takes passages such as Jesus' dealing with the rich young ruler, and points out how they are often watered down to mean something less than our Lord meant. With the danger that they miss the faith that was to be found, in responding to the call of Jesus in the command.
Those passages can be understood in a metaphorical way that meets those whose lives are already set on pilgrimmage with Christ. After all, we know the crux of the matter is not money, how much one has or doesn't have. But the crucial matter is where one's heart is. Is it in worshiping and serving God? Or in idolatry? As Bobby Dylan sang, we do indeed, "gotta serve somebody". There are no acceptable grays here.
We do have to seek to stay in the path of radical obedience to Christ. Just because we start out with him, doesn't mean now we're free to not take his commands seriously. After we put our hand to the plow of the kingdom of God, we must refuse to look back. And when we do falter, to confess and receive forgiveness, then continue on with our Lord.
Jesus, Let us not lean on our own understanding. But submit to you in obedience, in all of life. Knowing that you are there with us, to keep us on the straight and narrow to the end. To your glory. Amen.