Leaving Our Nets

I have always been struck by the response of Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew, as well as James and his brother John when Jesus said to them one day – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4.

These guys were young fishermen, doing what fishermen do most days – fish. They were earning a living. They were at work. James and John were working the family business with their father.

Then Jesus comes walking by the sea and calls out to them. What follows really captures my attention. In both cases the Bible records that they “immediately left” boats and nets and began to follow Jesus. So many unanswered questions, like:

Who will clean the fish? Who will mend the nets? Who will help dad?

Where are we going? Can we pack a bag? Can we tell our family and friends goodbye?

Do we need any money? Should we bathe first?

Maybe I am too practical. Maybe I just don’t believe as deeply as they did. I would have asked some more questions I think.

But, for some unexplained reason these men (and others) simply put down their work and their lives – and followed Jesus. They didn’t ask, they didn’t question, they didn’t hesitate. They didn’t know this man very well; they didn’t know where they were going or what lay ahead. And what they accomplished…..what became of their simple but profound obedience….changed history.

God spoke to me as I read those familiar verses just the other day, and said “are you willing to follow me too?” That’s all. Just those few simple words, but they have been ringing in my ears ever since. Would I have left my job, career, plans, future, familiar surroundings, family and friends, my life – and followed Him? Am I willing to do those things today?

It has made me think deeply what God is calling me to do, and what following Him really means for me. It has made me re-think my priorities, my plans, my goals, my retirement, my future. God is speaking. Am I willing to do what He asks, or will I wimp out? Will I somehow compromise like so many times before.

Or, will I have the courage to respond like these young fishermen, and say “yes, Lord” – wherever, whatever – I am following you? Now.

I pray I will.

Will you join me?