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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today’s Reading | Matthew 4:18–25               

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (NRSV)

I remember preparing to graduate college and dreading the inevitable question everyone asked: “So, what comes next for you?” Asked with the best intentions by people who truly cared about what I did with my life, there was still a lot pressure for the “right” answer. I tried to weigh my desires and calling with my friends and family’s expectations to decide what my future might hold. Would I go to grad school like my older siblings did? Would I find a job somewhere near home or branch out and move to a bigger city? It is hard enough to leave behind the known for something new and different, but to do so knowing that so many people are invested in what you do adds even more pressure.

Trying to hear my calling over everyone else’s advice was challenging. I can only imagine the challenge James and John must have felt, having been working alongside their father in the family business of fishing until one day this stranger calls out to them and they leave their safe, known existence—what everyone expected them to do—and instead follow this Jesus. How does Zebedee respond when his sons suddenly leave him for a greater purpose? What do we risk losing when we take a leap of faith? Will the inevitable gains outweigh the initial cost?

God, guide me to your calling. Give me the strength to take a leap, to put aside my comfort and complacency to heed your guidance and plan for my life. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Junior High and Youth Mission Coordinator

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