get our share of telemarketers who call our house. We don’t have caller ID, but
I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing who is a friend calling and who is a
telemarketer.When I answer the phone
and there is a pause after I say hello, I know that the computer system is
pushing my call through to the salesperson, and I hang up.I can say “no” right away, before a live
person comes on the line.When God
calls, are you ever tempted to do that?Are you ever tempted to say to God – wrong number – call someone else?
One of the lectionary readings for this week is Mark 1:14-20. It is the call of Simon, Andrew, James and John.
I read that passage, I am always struck by the vision of the fishermen dropping
their nets, immediately, and following Jesus.It is as if they don’t hesitate – they don’t go home and discuss the
decision with any family members – they don’t struggle through their choice–
they just do it.Immediately.There is nothing in the passage that leads us
to believe that Simon, Andrew, James and John were being called by a
stranger.I have to believe they had met
Jesus before, that they had heard him preaching or teaching, that in some ways
they had already developed some kind of relationship with him.Even so, Mark doesn’t leave much doubt that
their response was excuse-free.They
dropped their nets, left their lives, and followed Jesus.
of the other lectionary readings for the week comes from the book of
Jonah.For me, in some ways, Jonah –
initially -- has an opposite response
when compared to the four men in the Mark passage.God calls Jonah to go and tell the people of
Ninevah that they must change their ways or face destruction.Jonah’s initial reaction – to run the other
way – is so much more like my reaction to God’s call sometimes.I can relate to Jonah.In response to God’s call, Jonah goes down to
Joppa, gets on a boat, goes down into the ocean, and down into the belly of a
fish.Talk about arguing with God – only
at Jonah’s lowest point can he finally say “yes” to God – and even that
response is reluctant.And when the
people of Ninevah repent, Jonah is disappointed in God’s mercy.
we sometimes more like Jonah in our responses to God than we are like Simon or
Andrew?And why is that the case?I think we can get so wrapped up in our
excuses that they become a trap – to use a fisherman’s image – our excuses can
become a net to keep us from serving God.
Why Sandpiper? When I was young, my grandfather liked CB radios. He worked construction, and would talk to my grandmother during the day using the radio. He had them in his truck and his car. We ended up with one in our car (for emergencies, I imagine). Sandpiper was my "handle." It reminds me of times with my grandparents. It also is symbolic of my love of the beach.