Today we have Matthew's calling of Simon Peter and Andrew, and then James and John, followed by Matthew's description of Jesus' early ministry of healing and teaching. Matthew says that Peter and Andrew "immediately" followed Jesus upon his call to them. James and John "immediately" leave their father Zebedee to follow Jesus as well. And Matthew describes throngs of people flocking to Jesus' side from all over that area: from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond.
There was this instantaneous response to Jesus, an immediacy of following, wanting to be near him, be a part of this movement, this phenomenon. The way Matthew describes this first calling and people's response to Jesus indicates that there was not a great deal of time for reflection and evaluation and rationalization: they just responded.
It is very true that we can make mistakes when we "jump" at something. It is also true, and different from those knee-jerk reactions, that when we know something is right, we just know it deep down within ourselves. So deep down that it is difficult if not impossible to articulate the "why" answer: it just "is". I think many of us have lost the ability to recognize that deep part of us telling us something is right, and just going for it, responding to it. There is risk in this kind of endeavor. Certainly Peter and Andrew, James and John's lives were risky after their response to Jesus. Yet, those lives, post-meeting-Jesus, were as they should have been and had impact and inspiration beyond their wildest imaginings.
Where is God calling each of us? How do we listen to that deep, instinctual place and know that it is right to respond without rationalization or articulation? How do we know when something is just right?
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.