In Matthew 8:20 Jesus asks those who wish to make the commitment to follow him that: Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
Then a disciple asks Jesus if he can go and bury his father. However, Jesus counters in verse 22 with: “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
The question I ask myself is does following Jesus require never having control of what lies in the future and additionally never having the time to do the things you desire? My comment on the first question is there are many situations that test us in our lives. We also are taken to places we don’t always want to go to. What is important is how we deal with those difficult situations when confronted with them.
I believe Jesus is asking us when faced with trying circumstances to act calmly and find a solution that will benefit all the people involved. Furthermore, it would be impossible to go throughout life without encountering a challenging issue at some time so you need to have patience and flexibility to cope with the problem.
The second question is that in today’s society we are so busy therefore how do we find the time to do everything? What I think Jesus is saying to us is that there is a need to prioritize what is important in our lives. Additionally, in all that we do in our lives we ensure that we live according to God’s will. Consequently, when we don’t include God in our lives we are perhaps acting in self interest. Hence, God is asking us to do his work before we pursue our own concerns.
Thus for me the Gospel message is about facing the challenges in our life. Looking for solutions that require flexibility, patience and implement God’s will. Accordingly, it necessitates us being responsible for the choices we make, confronting the issues and developing our relationships with people, the environment and God. This is how we build community.