His girlfriend is an aspiring author who discusses the concept of subtext with him. She begs him to "just let it unfold" when he signs up on the heart transplant list. But he is very rich and begins to lose confidence in the system and decides to change to a new doctor. His old doctor is a true friend but the new doctor is one who promises results.
The new doctor does get results, too. But it turns out that the heart for the hero has been purchased and results in the death of an innocent young woman.
I have a friend right now that needs a new liver. Not too many years ago another friend needed a new heart. Regularly I read about someone who has given a kidney to someone else.
And we all know about the hope of stem cells being used to grow new organs and the resulting debate that is ongoing about the ethical implications of such technology.
At any rate the situation in that book about someone needing a new heart is all too plausible. That someone rich enough could simply buy what is needed is all too plausible as well. We know this because from time to time we read stories about an entire black market for organs.
In the case of organ transplantation there is a system in place that is meant to protect the innocent while assisting those in need.
In the book it is the man's fear that drives him to seek out a heart at all costs. His fear of death was just so great that he could not keep his promise to his girlfriend. He gained his life but lost everything else.
Jesus said something similar in Matthew 10:38-39 (The Message):
If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.Fear is mostly what keeps us from faith. A lot of people would argue that it is unbelief but that's just what the absence of faith is -- not what keeps us from believing.
Many of us want to live our lives in the freedom of faith. But we just cannot make ourselves let go of whatever security we think we have. We are just too scared to let go.
In Luke 18:18 there is this story about a "rich young ruler" who comes to Jesus and says that he's followed all the commandments but wants to know what he has to do to deserve eternal life. Jesus tells him he only needs to sell everything he has and give it to the poor and then follow Jesus. The young ruler couldn't do it.
I was thinking about examples in the Bible where people decided to help God out rather than just let what God had promised unfold. There are plenty of examples.
For instance God promises Abraham and Sarah a child. But when she fails to become pregnant Sarah decides God needs a bit of assistance. And she has the power to effect something the consequences of which remain with us to this day.
Or another time Abraham says that Sarah is his sister instead of his wife because he's afraid the truth will get them all killed.
Eventually though Abraham gets it right when he takes Isaac up to the mountain to offer the sacrifice.
Yesterday my Bible reading was in Psalm 119. Verse 1:
You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.Often it is the most difficult test of faith to wait on the Lord.
Stay the course.