Monday, May 5, 2014

Come - Mark 1:16-20 Post 1

Chalkboard: Mark 1:16-20 Post 1
Sometimes the ordinary seems so...unspiritual.  I feel if I hope to see You I should spend hours in prayer, make some grand gesture of self-sacrifice, or somehow do or be something...else.  I must prepare myself in some way before coming to the mountain (Exodus 19:10-15).  

But...Simon (Peter) and Andrew, James and John - they were fishing (Mark 1:16-20).

It wasn't a "grand" gesture - it was what they did.

You walked by and saw them.

They weren't sitting around, waiting for a sign from You (although maybe they wanted one).   They weren't trying to figure out what their calling was (although what they were doing was somehow preparing them for it).  They weren't trying to figure out what You wanted them to do.  Maybe they dreamed of lofty things, but they had their feet firmly planted boat, their hands busy with nets.  

The thing that they were trained to do, probably raised to do, expected to do, and needed to do in order to eat and feed their families - they were doing.  The normal thing.  The ordinary thing.

The right thing.

It doesn't make them unspiritual somehow. 

Actually, in a way, it's the ultimate "grand" gesture of self-sacrifice.  Instead of trying to "find" themselves or a more exciting life, they are faithfully doing what they do for the sake of those who depend on them. Quietly, ordinarily, doing what needs to be done.

There You saw them, there You came to them and said, "Come, follow me."

What do You find me doing?  Wondering what to do next?  Sitting and waiting for a sign or word from You?  Am I doing those things that are before me, or am I avoiding them, hoping You'll call me out of them to something else?  Am I rushing by the mundane, "unspiritual", getting it over with so I can do the "real" stuff?  

Or am I...doing what I do?

What if it's all the "real" stuff?

What if these "ordinary" things prepare me for something I can't yet see?

What if...what if You like to find men "fishing"?

I know that no matter how I might devote myself to fasting and prayer, or what great "grand gestures" I might do, or how I might try to do or be something....I could never do or be anything that would be enough to bring me to You.  I can never be prepared to go to the mountain.  I can't come to You.  Not really.

That's why You came to us.  

We needed You to come to us.  We still do.  

You came to them, while they were fishing and mending nets, doing what they do.

You come to me.   Sometimes when my hands are in dishwater.

I don't need to somehow do or be something - anything - else.  You will use what I am.  Like You called fishermen, and made them "fishers of men." 

You come to me, in the midst of my normal life. Here You see me.  Here You call me.  Here You say, "Come, follow me."  And I can, because You first came to us.

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  1. Been thinking about much the same lately. One thing that Orthodox mentality pushes you to is to get big on preparations, sanctification, purification, prayer etc. so you get you vessel ready for God. They do have some ground for saying that. After all it says: Repent and enter... Repent comes first. But turning repenting into the "work" I do to get to God means self-focus and as soon as I focus on myself, satan is right here to get me. He becomes the catcher of men when men get caught in looking at themselves.

    1. I agree. And it's so easy to BE self-focused - because - well, obviously because I'm around myself all the time, and because I have more influence over myself than anything else. But even my influence over myself is limited, and the only one who can do anything about the deepest and most profound issues I have is God. So focusing on me doesn't help.

      But I do think that there is a place for preparing yourself and getting ready for Him. And there is a danger in being so caught up in my "normal" that I don't recognize Him when He comes. I can be self-focused in my preparations for Him, but I can also be self-focused when I'm waist deep in the water of my normal life, too.

      It's interesting that in the Bible sometimes God has people prepare - (fasting, praying, etc.) - and sometimes He just shows up in the ordinary. I guess the key for us is to always be God focused in whichever situation applies to us.