He said for him the craft of building a boat was like religion. It wasn’t enough to master the technical details of it. You had to give yourself up to it spiritually; you had to surrender yourself absolutely to it. When you were done and walked away from the boat, you had to feel that you had left a piece of yourself behind in it forever, a bit of your heart. He turned to Joe. “Rowing,” he said, “is like that. And a lot of life is like that too, the parts that really matter anyway. Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (p. 215). Penguin Publishing Group.
Following Jesus, like rowing, is not a merely a hobby. While we have starts and stops, and seasons of faithfulness and seasons of faltering, following Jesus requires discipline, and even more–sacrifice. “When Christ calls us, he bids us to come and die” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship. When we give ourselves away, when we surrender, it certainly takes a piece of us, and actually more than just a piece. But in that surrender, we receive. That is amazing grace.
Martyred missionary Jim Elliot said it this way: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”