Letting Jesus Lead You Into the Unknown
To the men and women who are sincerely seeking to follow Jesus in their lives much more genuinely, I usually give this piece of advice: "Don't ask questions, start immediately, and have faith in him!" What typically follows is those questioning looks on their faces. I direct them to the calling of the first four disciples as described in Matthew 4:18-22. Open your Bible and see what I mean.
Look at these four men. Jesus said, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Pay attention to the adverbs describing their responses. About Peter and Andrew, the Scripture says, "At once they left their nets and followed him." At once! About James and John, it says, "And immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him." Immediately! And just like that, they were leaving everything behind—even poor Zebedee—and following Jesus.
They didn't go back home to pack their bags and say their good-byes. They didn't even have questions: Come and follow you, but where exactly? Come and follow you, but for how long exactly? Is the salary competitive? Are there any benefits? There were no such questions. They simply stopped what they were doing and followed him. Their radical response to Jesus' invitation is what made all the difference in their lives.
Lesson: When it comes to following Jesus and serving him, go for it right away and don't ask questions! There's another important lesson to be learned from the four men's responses. They didn't sit down and talk about it. They didn't pull out a map and start plotting the course of action. They didn't look toward home and say, "Hey, Jesus, can I think about this tonight and get back to you tomorrow?" They simply let Jesus lead them into the unknown. They simply put their lives in Jesus' hands. That was enough for them.
Christian discipleship is about a relationship with Jesus, a trusting relationship in which the individual lets go of the need to control his/her life and instead puts that life into Jesus' hands. It means Jesus leading the person along a road he/she hasn't traveled before or probably wouldn't choose to travel.
If you're wondering whether or not Jesus may be calling you to be a priest or a religious (with Glenmary, I hope), if you're wondering whether that's the right person for you to marry, if you're wondering whether you're making the right decision for your family, if you're wondering whether you should participate in that ministry or this ministry, if you're wondering about the direction your life is heading, the answer you're looking for WILL NOT come by being careful, by wanting to be 100 percent sure, by working hard, by reasoning it out, or by pulling out maps and plotting a course.
The answer you seek will only come when you permit yourself to be led by Jesus into the unknown. Folks, that's very scary! That's why the most common expression in the entire Bible is this: "Do not be afraid." It's easy for me to understand why; discipleship is about a journey into the unknown.