The calling of the twelve disciples is a story we commonly hear in relation to vocational calling to the religious life. Peter, Andrew, James and John all being called from their lives as fishermen, and Matthew from his life as a tax collector. All of the twelve were called from their original projections of life and how they thought they should live, and became the first priests of Christ. For most people, they aren’t called to the priesthood or religious life. But everyone is called to follow Christ. “Then come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).
Every time I hear this story, I always take it super literally, that they just got up and followed Him. I recently was out on a camping trip with the young adults group from St. Cloud and during that time we spent time in the lake, playing volleyball, hanging out around the fire, sharing testimonies, and praying together. It was a true testament to fellowship, and when I left, my heart was full of joy. About twenty minutes into my drive home, I recalled that I would be entering seminary three hours away from these people and that there would be a separation. That realization broke my heart. I have learned so much about myself, and the faith through them. But, God never calls us to something that we can’t handle without providing sufficient grace. He consoled me that what I would be leaving and what I would be entering into was by Him, through Him, and for Him. He taught me what, I imagined, the twelve apostles experienced. That even though, like them, I had a life filled with so many good things, it wasn’t the good things Christ has asked me to pursue, and that in pursuit of Christ will we find great happiness, joy, and peace.
In our lives we pursue many good things, but are we pursuing the good things Christ has asked us to? This question entails that we may be called away from some things and called into others, or that we dive deeper into what we are doing. It calls us out of our self and into service of our neighbor. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).