Scripture verse for today is Luke 5:11, “As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.”
How many of us could drop everything we are doing and follow? Life is so crazy busy and there always seems to be one more thing that needs to be done before we can move onto something else or to even stop what we are doing. I like to think we all want to answer that call when it comes from Jesus. I’m not going to try to convince you of things you already know to be true or tell you that my life is busier than yours or that I’m anything other than this…I am a sinner, like all other humans in this world. I am in need of a Savior and I cannot save myself. We all approach and handle situations differently and for a variety of reasons and they all can be true. Some people have a need to plan things out to the most minute detail while others are all about the thrill of adventure and as some may say, “fly by the seat of their pants.” Neither are wrong, just different. I like to tell myself that I fall somewhere in the middle (HaHa!) *my friend’s should find some humor in that! Some might even say that I take things too seriously, I’ll admit that can be true but I love to have fun as well. The idea of getting in the car with little care and planning, heading out on an adventure is exhilarating to me, then after a few minutes my instinct for responsibility would kick into gear and I would start mentally preparing a list of “to do” items such as…do I have enough money, is the car ok, are the tires ok, what should I pack, do I need extra shoes and what about a jacket…see what happens!
Getting back to the scripture verse (full story can be found in Luke 5:1-11), try to imagine being one of the fishermen that Jesus was talking with, Simon Peter, James and John…they were exhausted fishermen who had been out fishing and had not caught any fish. They were washing their nets when Jesus got into Simon Peter’s boat so that he could speak and teach to the crowd that was with him. When Jesus had finished teaching he directed the fishermen to go back out to the deep water and throw their nets back in. Although they were tired, they did as Jesus requested and they witnessed a miracle! I for one do not think it was a mere coincidence that their nets were so full they began to break due to the weight of all the fish they had caught. After having a conversation with them Jesus told them that they would now be fishers of men! They left everything to follow Jesus and be a part of His ministry. These men left everything behind, took nothing with them, they relied upon their faith in Jesus!
Listening for Jesus’ call can be difficult when we allow the noises around us to drown out his voice. When we do not hear God, it’s not because he has stopped calling…we have not been listening intently for his voice. Give yourself permission to be still, to quiet your mind and your space. Calm your heart and release your fears about God and open the door and let him in. Dropping everything that is separating you from a relationship of fullness with God will be unique and just for you. This Lenten season is a perfect time to evaluate our lives and identify things that keep us from being all that we were created to be. God laid upon my heart the word “Peace” for 2019 and I have been looking at things that bring me peace and things that keep peace from me. And now during Lent my church is sponsoring an activity to focus on a word that help to define things that are hindering our relationships with God, like what is keeping us from complete fullness with God. I am concentrating on Peace and the distraction that cause me a lack of peace. When I say peace, it comes in many forms such as:
• a calmness of spirit
• an easiness with confidence
• trustworthiness instead of worrisomeness
• love replacing discord
• acceptance of self in place of validation from others
• memories in place of regrets
• self-care in place of overextending myself
I know that I want to spend more time doing the things that bring me a sensation of peace and that includes doing this blog, spending time reading and studying God’s word, and spending time with my friends and my church family. For these things to happen I have come to the realization that I have to make room for them, so I’m watching fewer TV shows on my iPad and I’m playing far less video games on my iPhone and iPad. These are relaxing techniques I use, but most often they are nothing more than distractions. At times they keep me from my prayers, my meditation time, my writing time, my creative time but most importantly they keep me from listening for God’s voice. How can I become the person God created me to be if I’m not following his instructions. It’s like putting something together without reading the instructions, it is almost always a disaster!
Jesus is calling us to follow him, can you hear him?
Breath Prayer: Lord, help me … surrender.
I also wanted to share some on my photos that I have taken, I find peace through a lens looking at God’s creation. I hope you like them as well.