Going on a Christ hunt…
It’s summer time, so I think it’s okay to start a post with a bad reference to a camp song. I have been reflecting on today’s Gospel reading as the Orthodox Church begins her seasonal trek through the St. Matthew’s Gospel (We’ll pick up St. Luke’s account again in a few months.)
Today we hear Christ’s famous words, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Lately I have been thinking a lot about Abraham. “Follow Me” did not exactly provide clear guidance as to where physically he was to go. Christ called Abraham to a journey. He certainly called Peter and Andrew on a journey. He calls all of those who follow Him towards a journey marked by uncertainty and doubt so that it can also be marked by faith and trust.
We like to follow Christ when the path is level, when we go where we expect to go, when the weather around us cooperates. But there’s mud that we cannot go around, we cannot go under, we cannot go over so we must go through it. There’s tall grass. We must go through it. There are treacherous mountain passes. We must go through them.
Are we willing to follow Christ when He has to cuff us straight up side the head because we’re not getting it? Are we willing to follow Christ when He tells us something we wish was not true? Are we willing to follow Christ when He tells us that He leaves a task to us? Are we willing to follow Christ when He calls us to watch and pray? Are we willing to follow Christ when He bears the cross? Are we willing to follow Christ even through the suffering agony of feeling absolutely forsaken by God?
It is all too easy to try to craft Christ according to our own image. He calls us to follow Him, and then He does the unthinkable and assumes the responsibility for our transformation. Christ, and Christ alone, makes us fishers of men. Nothing of our own doing can work about our transformation. Only Christ has the perspective to work the change. Only He has the divine distance necessary to see when pruning, watering, covering, and exposure are necessary for our growth especially as only He knows what it will be like for us to encounter the infinite holiness of the Godhead.
May Christ guide us ever more fully toward journeying with Him as He works to transform us into vessels that radiate His light, life and presence.