Not Like Me

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Jesus came uninvited to Peter and his companions. They were tired at the end of an unproductive night of fishing and surely weren’t happy about the demand laid upon them, but still they listened and obeyed. Not like me. I would have protested and complained about being too tired.
Had I agreed to take Christ into my boat, I’m not sure how much I would have listened to his sermon. It’s hard enough for me to stay focused on his Word on Sundays at Mass when I’m not tired. But Simon Peter and his brother Andrew listened to Jesus and agreed to do as he asked. Not Like me.
After the sermon, Jesus directed the brothers to go out into the deep water and cast their nets. I’m sure Peter and Andrew both shook their heads and wondered how this wandering preacher could know more about where and how to fish than they did. But they went anyway and cast their nets out. Not like me. I would have taken offense and felt Jesus didn’t believe I was capable of doing my job right. I get so hung up on imagined slights that I am often unwillingly to listen to others.
Peter and Andrew were rewarded with a huge catch of fish. Not like me. I would have gone home with nothing to show for my efforts. Simon and Andrew called to their partners to help them and to share in their bounty. Not like me. If I had been so blessed, I would greedily clutch it to myself, convincing myself that I earned it and hence had no obligation to share. After all, I have a responsibility to prepare for a future isn’t usually so bountiful. Peter said to Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Recognizing that he was unworthy, he still abandoned his previous life to follow Christ. Not like me. I figure I’m unworthy, so I have no business pretending I can properly serve God. I don’t think it’s even worth trying. As imperfect as I am, it probably isn’t actually God speaking to me.
Simon, Andrew, James, and John drew their boats up on the shore and left them to follow Jesus. They turned away from their livelihoods and responsibilities to put learning from Jesus and serving their Lord as top priority in their lives. Not like me. I hear God’s call, but still I try to work his service into the cracks and corners I call “free time.” It’s time to change my priorities and put service to God first. It’s time for me to pull my own boat up on shore and leave it.

Linda Crowley