As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
[Mark 1: 16–20]
Tomorrow is my 40th birthday. I remember dreading my 30th birthday and worrying about the future, but this ‘big’ birthday feels very different. Our passage from Mark tells how Jesus called the disciples and they instantly got up, left everything they knew, and followed him. Since my 30th birthday, I too have given up everything I knew and followed God on an adventure into the unknown. I left my job in teaching, trained for the ministry, and now am a presbyter in a place I had never heard of, let alone been to.
I always used to read that passage and wonder if I would ever be as brave as those first disciples to follow the call, yet having done it, I would not hesitate to do so again. Sometimes our fear of the unknown leads us to be wary of change and challenge, yet often being brave and stepping out in faith is very rewarding.
The image I chose for today is a chess piece that has been placed on the “wrong” side of the board. I encourage us all to reflect on what we are being called to do, what we are being called to change, where we are being asked to go. We have faced many changes in the last year and many wish for the old ‘normal’, but perhaps it is time to reflect and see the opportunity to change and grow with God. Take time to ponder what God is calling you to and ask for the strength to follow.
God of changes,
We thank you that you are the constant in our lives.
You call us to new and different places,
To new and different perspectives,
To new and different opportunities.
Give us the strength and courage
To follow you where you lead,
To step out in faith into the new,
And experience the joy and wonder that can come from the different.