Standing atop a rock deep in the woods. The sounds of birds chirping in the distance. A light breeze blowing across my face. I stand there, arms spread wide and red cape (Mom’s new red towel) flapping in the wind. “I am Superman!” I cry out. I close my eyes, lean forward, and jump!
Then it happens… the most amazing thing happens… Reckless abandonment happens…
Today marks the first day of my reckless abandonment.
As I sit here and write, my mind is reminded of the disciples decision to leave their nets and follow Jesus. I understand that my decision to step out on faith is quit different in subject, but I’m not too certain it is any different in the realm of faith. I’m not stepping away from a great paying job, with great benefits, a 401k, and prestige. But I am stepping into the unknown, learning to trust God is a new situation.
“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.”
I’ve imagined what it was like for the disciples to walk away from the fishing boat to pursue another kind of fishing. I’d imagine their hearts were filled with excitement, curiosity, and even a little nervousness.
Now I understand that it was every little boys dream in ancient cultures to follow a Rabbi. For them it was kinda like getting a full ride to a five-star college. They would have been extremely excited to get this opportunity. So dropping their nets may or may not have been a very hard thing to do.
I can relate to their initial excitement and nervousness, as I recall similar feelings when I left for school in 2005. In light of $30,000 of students loans I knew I would receive, I knew that God was calling me to something extraordinary- something I’d never experienced until that point. I would be the first in my immediate family to go to college!
Everything worked out in the end, God provided a substantial amount of money to pay off most of the loans; and God let me meet my beautiful wife there. But, He also taught me something in the process- following Him may not always makes sense at the time, but it’s always worth while!
Today those feelings have returned as I step out into the unknown in reckless pursuit of what God has been doing in my heart.
I’m sure the disciples had no idea what to expect following this new Rabbi. I’m sure they had no idea the things they would learn along the way. I’m also sure they had no idea the trials they would face, as they traded their old fishing equipment for a new kind of spiritual fishing equipment.
A cool think to notice in this story is that the disciples didn’t change from being fishermen; the only thing that changed was what they were fishing for. Jesus said, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to be fishers of men.”
I know that I may be stretching the significance of this passage a little, but understand what I’m trying to say. The disciples left one calling in life for a new one that Jesus placed before them. They left one occupation that had proven results, an occupation they were comfortable with, an occupation they knew, to chase a new destination that was somewhat unknown.
I wonder what was going through their heads when Jesus asked them to be fishers of men: “I wonder what this fishing for men thing is like? It sounds a little crazy, don’t you think? I wonder if I can even do it? I’m curious, I’m going for it!”
When I began this blog today, I started with a story of little boy tying to fly. That little boy was me. I tried to fly a lot- even though I never seemed to master it.
I feel kind of like I just stepped off that rock in the woods again. I’m flying for a brief moment- waiting for the ground to arrive back under my feet- only to land again, being changed by the experience.
When I think about my life in association with that of the original disciples, I can’t help but wonder the difference.
From the outside looking in, people may have said, “They are crazy! Why would they give up a great position like that?” But let’s think about the significance of the situation: If they didn’t go when asked, they would have not only been disobedient, but they would have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime! The opportunity to experience God’s new work first hand. The experience of seeing Jesus do the impossible.
Now, I’ve seen Jesus do the impossible in my life before; and let me add that it was awesome! But seeing Jesus do one miracle isn’t enough for me, I want to continue seeing Jesus do the amazing. I’d imagine that’s the same way the disciples felt during the course of those three years before Christ’s death. It didn’t matter what came their way, or what they would have to sacrifice along the way, all that mattered was seeing Jesus in action!
This is how I honestly feel- I want to see Jesus the impossible again!
I want to run with my eyes closed, I want to jump without knowing where I land, I want to recklessly abandon the known for the unknown- because I want to see Jesus do amazing things!
Pretending to fly was an invigorating experience as a kind. It was in those times that we felt most alive. It was because of those experiences that we felt the most changed.
We felt so alive because we stepped out on faith, knowing that God would see us safely home at the end of the day. We felt the most changed from those experiences because we saw God do just that- see us safely home!
God is a big God and calls us to big tasks. I’m grateful for the opportunity to see God do the impossible. I’m excited to get to experience His love in a new way. And I trust that my landing will be soft and I will be changed for it.