Last Sunday I preached on Matthew 4:12-23, Jesus calling the first disciples. I was reflecting at one point on how frightening it must have been for the disciples to leave their boats, their trade, the life they knew, and follow this stranger who offered them the chance to fish for people. “I don’t know,” I commented, “if some stranger approached me on the street and said, hey, leave everything you know, if I would jump at the opportunity…”
I wrote the line in my manuscript, no problem. But when I went to deliver it on Sunday, I looked out over this room full of people who I had never even thought of until the ELCA, in its infinite wisdom, decided Syracuse, NY was the place for me, and I thought, huh.
This decision to start seminary is crazy. I don’t think I give that fact enough credit sometimes. This is not to toot my own horn and say, “look what a great follower I am,” this is simply to allow myself the space to recognize that this journey is hard. If you are reading this blog, I’m assuming you are at least considering seminary, if not already in it. And so I’d like to offer you the space as well, to recognize that this is a really big decision. It’s a big decision, and it can be scary. But Jesus doesn’t tell the disciples, “Go fish for people.” Jesus says, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” The action is all Jesus. The responsibility is all Jesus. All I have to do is follow. And hey, it turned out pretty well for the disciples.