It is quite possible that one of my favorite quotes I have ever heard was this: “The vision you have must be followed by a venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps. We must step up the stairs.” Immediately, I thought of the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17ff). Mark records the account of a man with whom Jesus deals and it seems as if the man dared to “stare up the steps” of following Jesus. The question he asked is one I wish that more people would ask; “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). In the verses to follow, the Lord sets out to “make his vision a venture.” The young man was sincere and seemed to impress the Lord because the text says that Jesus “looking at him, loved him” (Mark 10:21). The mission of Jesus was to motivate him to trade his staring up the steps, to stepping up the stairs that leads to life eternal. Often times in life, it seems that some steps (or staircases) are steeper than the others. There was a steep step to which the young ruler came, and it just happened to be the first step. It turned out to be a stumbling block for him. Jesus challenged him to move out of the shallow waters of his convenient religion into the deeper waters of conviction and trust. “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me” (Mark 10:21). Sadly, this account does not have a happy ending. The young man was “sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10: 22). He stood at the bottom and stared up, hopeful. He came to the first step and decided it was too steep for him to even take the first step. We said that we thought he was deeply interested in Jesus, but he just could not bring himself to the level of obedience that Jesus expected of him. His problem seems to be the same thing that most of our members face today: He lacked the willingness to get rid of the one thing that stood between he and stepping up the stairs to eternal life. Jesus was welcome everywhere else in his life, but when it came to his money and possessions, Jesus was told to “keep out.” What is that one thing you lack? Are there any ares of your life where Jesus isn’t allowed to go? Having believed, do you refuse to obey? Or having done that, are you allowing pleasure to keep you away from worship assemblies? Are you refusing to forgive one who offended you? Is your money and the way you spend it surrendered to Jesus? Is Jesus in charge of your lips, or are they loose? Is Jesus Lord of your life as a husband/father, wife/mother, teenager? What step is Jesus demanding you to take that leaves you at the bottom staring up the steps instead of trustingly stepping up the stairs?