‘“Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people! ”’ Matthew 4:19
Change is hard. If you have ever experienced a major life change you know that is true; a job loss or shift, a big move, a relationship lost. These life changes can shake us at the core. Although this is true for all of us, we each think of change differently. For some, staying in the same house and job is the goal. Deviation from that is change. For others, hopping from job to job or moving is the normal way of life. Staying in the same place when things get uncomfortable is actually a change from the normal.
When Jesus speaks to these fishermen they are in the middle of the routine. They are doing what fishermen do: fishing. Jesus brakes their rhythm when he asks them to follow him. He said they would be fishers of men. They followed him as he preached the kingdom but then healed people rather than building an army. Almost nothing about Jesus’ invitation was expected. Normally a rabbi would teach much different content. Normally a kingdom preacher would be a political or military revolutionary. Jesus asks them to leave their vocation and follow him into this strange kingdom. A kingdom without battles, a kingdom without political agendas, a kingdom of healing and grace.
Jesus may be asking you to do the same, to evaluate what is normal and relinquish it for what is better. You can’t accept a new way of life until you set aside the old way. Again, for some that means staying right where you are rather than running away from things when they get hard. That is the change. For others it means breaking from the daily routines in order to embrace a new normal, a better normal. That is the change.
Disciples are people who are open to transformation. Our aim is to look like our teacher and that demands a constant surrender of how things are today and an openness for what he has tomorrow.
Take a moment to do that right now. Maybe you can even hold your hands out with your palms open. Imagine your home, your job, your location, and your dreams in the palm of your hands. Tell Jesus that you are open to the changes that he wants in these things. If you are not open to change, ask him to show his heart of love for you so that you can trust him with these things in the future.
By Aaron Bjorklund