. . .the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father. . .and followed him.
And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. . .And immediately there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?. . .But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him.”
IMMEDIATELY. The word “immediately” appears four times in my gospel reading for today. That seems pretty significant. So often I think that I must take time to deliberate. I spend days, weeks, even months researching, plotting, planning, and mulling over a decision in my head before I consider taking action. Often the process spirals into worry. We are taught to approach serious decisions with careful consideration, and the assumption is that this will take some time. That truly good discernment can only occur when great time is spent on it.
Jesus shows us otherwise. Sometimes we need to act right away. And usually those times involve Him and where He is leading us. I suppose the key is determining if the call is actually coming from Him or instead from forces of this world. If He is truly the one reaching out to us and compelling us to act, then we don’t need to stop and think or engage in a lengthy pro/con debate about the scenario. We just need to do it.
This can feel very risky. When I try to imagine the risk those fishermen took that day, I grow uncomfortable. What would their families think of them? How would they make ends meet? What if they were too hasty and later experienced regret? These are all feelings of this world, brought on from the judgement of others. In the end, we have to trust that Jesus has a plan for us and that saying YES to Him immediately is the only way to go. As we are reminded, the kingdom of God is at hand. Let our thoughts align with our actions and follow Him.