I heard this parable several years ago from a temp coworker who was obsessively busy. I seem to remember that she was a student, a worker, taking care of siblings, slept and rested unbearably little, but was making a name for herself for all she did. The parable itself may or may not be a true account, but like the parable of the unjust steward being wise in his own generation, we can learn from this case of unbridled idolatry to be wise as sons of light. I'm not an elder, but perhaps I can post this under the command to exhort one another in Hebvrews 10:25. ------------------ There was a young man who wanted to make a lot of money, and so he went to a guru.... He told the guru, “I wanna be on the same level that you’re on.” And so the guru said, “If you wanna be on the same level that I’m on, I’ll meet you tomorrow at the beach at 4 am.” The man thought, The beach. I said I wanna make money, I don’t wanna swim. But the young man got there at 4 am, all ready to rock and roll. The old guru grabbed his head. “How bad do you want to be successful?” “Real Bad.” So the guru said, “Walk on out in the water.” So he walks out into the water, about waist deep. He said to himself, This man’s crazy. I wanna make money, he’s got me out here swimming. I didn’t ask to be a lifeguard. I wanna make money. The guru said “Come out a little further.” So he did. He was up right about at the shoulder area. He thought, this old guru is crazy. He’s making money, but he’s crazy. The guru said, “Come out a little further”. He came out a little further. He was right at his mouth. The young man was like, “I’m about to go back in. This man’s out of his mind.” But the guru shouted, “I thought you wanted to be successful!” He said, “I do!” The guru said, “Walk a little further…” He came, and the guru dropped his head in the water. He Held him down, and was holding him under. The man was scratching, clawing, fighting to get up. The guru kept him down under water. And just before the young man was about to pass out the guru raised him up. The Guru said, “I got a question for you. When you were under water, what was the only thing you wanted to do? More than anything?” He said, “I wanted to breathe.” The guru said “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful." ---------- Hear what the idolatrous guru says! According to this guru, what was the key to the pupil getting what he wanted? It was to be a worshipper of money. The real lesson of the guru was that the pupil had to become a man of worship. He needed to have a high esteem of money--so high that he cherished money as his own breath. He needed to humble himself and submit to money--whatever the way of getting money directs, he must do it. He needed to make money his all. Though not in these words the guru knows that man is a worshipper, and that man is idolatrous, and a man in relentless pursuit of his lusts might really become unstoppable. The very instinct that would drive this pupil to the relentless money in its uncorrupted and unadulterated form is worship, the instinctive knowledge that there is something or someone so far greater than ourselves that is worth losing our money, health, and our own breath to serve. This is our God. In not a degree less than this were we meant to glorify and enjoy God. "I have cherished your Word more than my daily food." "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." And not only are we made to glorify and enjoy God with this earnestness, but it is commanded. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind." There is not a faculty of our being that was not created and not meant for a relentless, tireless, obsessive pursuit of the Triune God, both to glorify Him and magnify His name and to find our highest and greatest happiness in Him; and the only right use of any of our faculties is the supreme, exclusive, self-sacrificing pursuit of Him. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." But the great difference between the exhortations of the guru and the exhortations given here is that the guru set up the pupil to be miserable. The young man is set on a course to pursue an idol that will not fulfill, always making demands and never satisfying. "Fix the jaws of the leech in your arm and let your idol demand all it wants of your life and strength," and in this way many find some semblance of their idol only to lose it at death. That's not the way of God. The more we pursue God, the more we find of Him, the more we are satisfied; and the more we are satisfied, the more we voluntarily give ourselves up as an offering to Him; and whatever is costs us to seek God, it becomes a pleasure, because we do really find God, and we find in God more than our souls ever knew they wanted. May we pursue God. May our love and zeal to know God in Christ come up to the level of this guru's idolatry. May our righteousness not be outmatched by this man's sin. May we not be complacent about God who will never perish when sinful men are obsessive suitors for lusts they cannot keep. If a man can be driven to pursue the world with this kind of madness, let us pursue the eternal glorious God with a worship they cannot explain or comprehend.