One gift of a Monday with no school, thank you Mexican Independence Day, I met with a friend for a run on the beach. With the sun on our backs and the sand sliding into our shoes, the miles and conversation passed quickly. We arrived to our destination, catching our breaths in a shady area. The ocean was filled with surfboards and tourists, and we watched as joyous and shaky riders conquered waves and face planted into others. Yet always willing to paddle back out and try again.
I’m sure many messages have been and could be written about the connections between surfers and following Jesus. The unknown of the waters, the determination and ability to take risks…but, I’m not going to talk about those topics. For off to our other side were 5 men. Five men that had nets, simple clothes, and no shoes. Fishermen.
I’ve never had much interest in fishing. After seeing a hook get stuck in the palm of my big brother’s hand, I stayed away from the sport. If I’m honest, maybe I just don’t have the patience. Regardless of the reason, I had never really watched the process. I was mesmerized as the men worked together, casting out the net, pulling it in, each with his own purpose (one seemed to simply keep the others laughing).
We watched them pull in a big load, the birds loudly protesting from above, and my friend turned to me and made an unforgettable observation, “Just imagine Jesus walking up to these men and saying Follow Me.” And I realized that I had never truly paid attention to that part of Scripture. I always took for granted that of course they would follow Jesus. Of course, they would understand what was to take place by leaving everything to follow Him. But they didn’t.
So, I thought about what that meant for them to leave their nets. In Matthew 4:19 it says that Jesus simply states, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He doesn’t say, “Don’t worry, you will always have enough to eat” or “With me you will see amazing things of God.” Jesus only says, “Follow me.” He doesn’t entice us with beautiful views, delicious food, or amazing coworkers. He just wants us to follow Him.
I will never forget a quote which states, “When you delay obedience, doubt and excuses creep in.” For the next verse says, “At once they left their nets and followed Him.” They were the first ones. They didn’t have the gift of seeing others already following Jesus. They didn’t read books about missionaries or watch inspirational movies. They heard His call and simply obeyed. And I think in many ways if God did show us His plans…well, in our humanness, we would freak out a little bit. So, in His graciousness, He shows us one step at a time. One day at a time. One moment at a time.
Sarah Quigg is serving her second year at our school in Mexico as the 5th-grade teacher. We are so blessed to have her on our team, and our students are INCREDIBLY blessed by her God-given talent for teaching and loving them so well.