“Close only counts in horseshoes.”
That’s not true. It is a perfectionist statement that might apply well to accomplishing specific tasks, but it isn’t the measure of a life.
Jesus complimented his followers,
You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom… (Luke 22:28-30 ESV)
On first read, it sounds like he’s saying, “You lot got it all right, you met all of my criteria and I am promoting you.”
Except look at what “staying with him” looked like just a few seconds earlier,
A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:24-26 ESV)
They stayed with him, alright, and demonstrated impressive ignorance of his example and teaching.
Not long after he assigned them a place at his royal table, they all ran away from him in his moment of greatest challenge. He had to go regroup them and even that was met with doubts and confusion.
But staying close was enough. They could miss the point and mishandle the situation and still “count.”
Caregivers learn by trial and error – lots of trials handled with lots of errors. But we count. Loving effort – that which keeps us close – is what matters to those in our care.
And the One who assigns us the work is the One who assigns a reward, not because we earn it but because He stays close to those in His care – to us.
Know someone who is just beginning the care giving journey? Our book might be a good Christmas present.