Dayton Moore is the General Manager of the World Champion Kansas City Royals. When he took over in 2007 the Royals had been one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball for decades. It took awhile to rebuild the culture but the team finally had a winning season in 2013. And just last fall they won the World Series. Inherent in Moore's story is the difficulty of running a professional sports team. General managers are notorious workaholics who sacrifice personal and family time for the team.
Dayton Moore is different. He meets the challenges of his profession not only with a personal emphasis on family but he encourages everyone in the Royals organization to do the same. Even more impressive, Dayton Moore's most important relationship is obvious to all who know him. He provides us with a modern day example of what Jesus is saying in this week's challenging Gospel.
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-33
Imagine the buzz Jesus created with the words "hating father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life." Did the crowd even hear the rest of what Jesus said after the hyperbole of His opening statement? If they did, one of the phrases they might have remembered is, "cannot be my disciple." It's almost as if Jesus didn't want people to follow Him.
The reality is that Jesus always made it very clear about what it meant to be a disciple. Know the cost, might have been the title for this particular sermon. We must accept the cost of discipleship because it is challenging, especially in our hectic, demanding world. Dayton Moore's life couldn't be more demanding and yet he keeps it all in perspective because his priorities are right. Moore begins each day with God. His spiritual mentors are amazed at Moore's relentless reading of scripture every morning. Moore unabashedly lives his life guided by God. Everything else follows that commitment.
Spend a few minutes listening to Dayton Moore explain how he does it in the clip below. Then ask yourself, "How can I live this way in my life?"