In this chapter from Luke we have Jesus calling his first disciples. Jesus tells Simon (Peter) to go out into the deep water and let his nets now again. Even though Simon had fished all night and came up empty, he did what he was told. The catch was so big that his nets were strained and Simon had to get his partners to help out with the haul. Simon and the others were in awe at what had just happened. After this passage Jesus tells these individuals that they would be soon fishing for people. After getting to shore, all of them left their boats and followed Jesus.
As you take part in this spiritual pilgrimage, you may also be asked to do something that in human terns maybe quite remarkable. However, if the instructions and discernment come from the Lord through the Holy Spirit hopefully, we will be like the first disciples and do as we are guided.
Something like this happened to me the summer after I got out of high school. I didn’t quite know what to do afterwards, I wasn’t guided to go to college, or enter the military. I worked for a time at a few odd jobs. I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence at that time and was somewhat shy. So going out and trying to find a full-time job, or find out what I was meant to get involved with, was a very frightening task. A couple of men at my church helped me get interviews with two of the steel mills that were in town. I lived in Youngstown, Ohio and the steel mills were still a going concern for the community. However this was an industry that I knew very little about, and had never been in one before. So it took a lot of strength and faith on my part to enter this world.
I applied at one mill called Republic Steel, and they told me that they would call me later on if they wanted to hire me. I also applied at Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company, and they offered me a job on the spot and said I could start in a few days. A few days later Republic Steel called back and offered a job as well. I thought about it, and decided to go with Youngstown Sheet & Tube.
That really worked out for me in the long run. I was laid off less working for them, rather than for Republic over the next eight years. I was also able over time to work shifts, which allowed me to go to college part time, and eventually leave after getting my college degree. I became somewhat comfortable in those surroundings; however, it wasn’t very easy at first and took a long time before I got used to going to work every day. The mill environment could be very daunting and sometimes dangerous. Thus interviewing for the steel job and then staying with that job took me way out of my comfort zone.
I didn’t fully know of the importance of that decision, however for my journey it was extremely significant. My life has been far from being perfect, and I have made my share of mistakes both large and small ones, however, over the years I have increasingly sought the instruction and discernment of the Holy Spirit on my daily walk.
As you take part in this pilgrimage and with your spiritual practices may you like the early disciples listen for Jesus’ voice coming through the Holy Spirit calling you to do things for the kingdom of God that you never thought you could do before!
Holy Spirit, help me to listen for your daily instructions, and may this discernment allow me to become a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ, and in the process become a witness of God’s infinite love for all of humankind! Amen. Vernon T.
Copyright © 2016 Vernon T. Jones, All Rights Reserved