Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
"Jesus said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Then they abandoned their nets and followed him." Mark 1: 17-18
These fishermen left their jobs, their homes and even families when Jesus called them. What do we need to leave behind to follow Jesus? Obviously there are many answers to this question, and I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves from time to time.
When we first begin to follow Jesus, we may indeed leave our families and jobs and even our dreams behind. Growing up I thought I would be a nun, but then I fell in love with Jim, and I realized that the Lord’s plan for me was much different. When we got married, I left my job at Oregon State and my family all in Oregon to relocate to California so he could work for his Dad. When our daughter Julie discerned a call to the Sisters of Life in New York, she left her job at NET and let go of her plan to move back to Oregon to be near her family. She also gave up her dream of marrying and having children. It seems God had a different future for both of us!
Many times our attitudes and patterns of coping need to change. I learned to worry from my Mom, but after I had 4 small children of my own, I started noticing Jesus speaking to me in His Word. Things like, "Don’t be anxious" and "Stop worrying" and "which of you by worrying can add a moment to his life-span?" Hmmm…. I learned that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, I really don’t have to worry. It’s my choice! I can live in peace rather than having ulcers and being upset all the time.
I’ve also noticed that I need an attitude adjustment when it comes to the new translation of the Mass. I miss the wording of some of the prayers and I don’t like some of the new phrases being used, but I need to let it go and embrace the changes. My worst offense, though, is my impatience with our daily Mass crowd who keep saying the old words! In their defense, some of them are practically deaf and blind, and they’ve been saying these prayers for so many years, it may take them awhile to get it! I need to follow Jesus by being more like Him and not letting this upset me.
The bottom line is, do I want my will, or the Lord’s will? God’s will is the best and safest place we can be. Let’s be willing to leave behind anything that keeps us from that.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].