After John had been arrested,
Simon and his brother Andrew “left their nets and followed [Jesus].” They, in essence, left their former way of life to be a disciple of Jesus. Remarkably they were able to do so, although at that moment, they knew very little of what that would actually entail.
Mark’s account of the brothers’ calling by Jesus, offers few details on what else (if anything), may have been said by Jesus to inspire these men leave all that they knew to now net souls instead of fish. Something, somewhere in them moved, and—maybe despite all reason—they dropped everything and followed.
Nearly 10 years ago, my heart felt a similar call. An encounter with Jesus inspired me to put aside my old part-time Catholic existence and allow my faith to embrace a more permanent position in my life.
Many “nets” needed to be left behind. The hardest came in the form of the snare of gossip. At the time, I loved gossip. It empowered me, delighted me, and gave my life purpose. It was how I determined my popularity among the other women in my town as well as how I (ironically) measured their respect. It was based on the amount and content of the gossip that was shared with me. As for my end of the deal – people found my gossip delivery hysterical, or at least that is how I judged it.
The fear I felt when the Holy Spirit convicted me that it was time to leave this behavior behind, was evidence of just how closely I related this “skill” to my own self-worth. I truly feared I would have nothing to talk about, nothing to share with people, and no one would be interested in including me in their social life. Truthfully, it was nearly a deal-breaker for me in my then burgeoning faith life.
Jesus’ promise to Simon and Andrew would be very similar to the one He offered me. “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” After breaking the gossip habit, I used my freed-up conversation time to share the Good News. I began “Reconciled To You” ministries in 2009, and embarked on a life of using my words to bring people closer to Christ.
It is important to note that this call was not just for Simon Peter or Andrew, nor specific to me or anyone called to formal spiritual ministry. Jesus calls each of us to this incredible service of the Church – of putting aside our nets and become fishers of men.
PONDER:What “net” is Jesus asking you to leave behind in order to follow Him?
PRAY:Lord Jesus, I do believe this is the time of fulfillment, even though at times I struggle to repent and believe. I desire to embrace the call to leave behind any nets that entangle me. When I do, when I boldly step out in faith, I know I will be blessed in ways yet to be imagined. Thank you, Lord, for the invitation to follow you. Please help me, by your grace, to do whatever I must to respond yes!
Copyright 2014 Allison Gingras