In chapter one after his baptism and temptation Jesus is preaching, healing, and calling his disciples and we still haven’t left chapter one. We see in calling Andrew and Simon (Peter) that he calls them and “at once” they leave their nets and follow him. Just a little further down Jesus sees James and John and without delay he calls them and they too follow. Sometimes it’s a good thing to take your time to decide, but at other times you just know what you need to do. In those incidences not responding can be the wrong thing.
How do you know when a decision requires proper thought and when do you need to, as the old saying goes, strike while the iron is hot? Part of the answer is in how much you know about the situation and the decision you need to make. A decision may seem hasty and made in the moment, but when you think about it, it is something you’ve been mulling over for some time. We know from John’s Gospel that the calling of these four wasn’t just in one moment. John 1:25-51 gives a distinct perspective. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and probably so was John. It mentions two of John’s disciples were with him when Jesus passed by. John points to Jesus and proclaims him as the lamb of God. After talking with Jesus, Andrew goes and tells his brother, Peter. The reason we think the other disciple was John is that John rarely named himself when writing about a scene in which he was actually there. So, when Jesus called them to follow him in Mark, this may have been something that they had actually been thinking about.
There are also times and situations that don’t require a lot of thought. Those often involve situations involving right and wrong. In those cases, our gut reaction is the correct one and we are looking for a justification to do what we want, even when it isn’t the right thing. When Jesus calls us, and we know that it is from him, hesitation usually doesn’t lead to a better decision. Andrew and Peter; James and John, for whatever reason, knew they needed to follow Jesus, right there and then. They didn’t say to him, “Come back tomorrow.” They knew what they needed to do.
As a church we are looking at what is next as I plan to retire from full-time ministry. We are asking for input on the direction we need to go. That applies not just to who will fill the pulpit, but to all of us. What is God calling you to do for our (His) church? Maybe that is something you need to put thought into. If so, plan to give it the time and consideration it deserves. You may already know what it is you need to do. In that case don’t think, DO! I’m asking all of you to pray for our church and these decisions. I’m also asking you to show up on Sundays and for our other activities. You may not realize how important your presence is, but it is a game changer in so many ways.