Originally posted Jan. 22, 2012, at The Heart of a Pastor. Republished with permission of the author.
I have been doing some pondering this week about what it means to be called. The Gospel text for this Sunday (Jan. 22) is Mark 1:14-20. Here Jesus is walking along, encounters some guys and simply says, “Come, follow me.” And these rabbi school rejects drop everything to follow Jesus.
They leave behind a somewhat stable income.
They leave behind a place to live.
They leave behind family and friends.
They leave behind their careers.
They leave behind their comfort zones.
Just like that, they go and follow Jesus. No argument. No negotiating. They go and follow Jesus. At least some of the characters in the Old Testament tried to object:
“I’m too young.” (Jeremiah)
”I’m a man of unclean lips.” (Isaiah)
”I don’t speak so well.” (Moses)
”We’re too old.” (Abraham and Sarah)
That sounds more like me.
But God has a response for those excuses and so they follow — and God is faithful — and God accomplishes what God set out to do through them. As if there should have been any doubt. God is awesome and God knows what he is doing.
If that is the case (and it is), why do I think I can offer up an excuse for why I can’t or shouldn’t follow? Do I really believe I can convince God that the wrong choice was made? Do I really think I can talk God out of what God has in mind for me? Do I really think that God doesn’t know me better than I know myself?
So whatever excuse you have used to not follow God — throw them out the window. They’re no good. When God says, “Follow,” simply recall Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
Think also of Jesus’ promise from Matthew 28: “ and lo, I am with you even to the very end of the age.”
When God commands you to follow, God is not going to leave you stranded.
When God commands you to follow, God will not leave you orphaned.
When God commands you to follow, God will do amazing things through you.
So just follow.
Stop the arguing.
Repent and preach the good news of Jesus Christ died and risen for you.
And then — watch the fireworks — praising God always and forever.
Find a link to Eric Hullstrom’s entry on the blog Heart of a Pastor at Lutheran Blogs.