|The Calling of Peter and Matthew, Ravenna - BibleOdyssey.org|
There are so many ways we can fulfil our calling in Christ as writers. Our natural talent for writing, our love of words, our imaginations, can be used to serve Christ in so many ways. And it could well change as time goes on – our original calling can develop and be transformed.
Peter was a fisherman by skill, by training, by natural aptitude and by trade. Jesus transformed Peter’s fishing. Peter had spent a wasted night, catching nothing. Jesus called Peter to ‘go out deeper’ and try again. This time the abundance of fish was overwhelming. Clearly, Jesus had the power to enhance Peter’s career as a fisherman. But he transformed it into another calling altogether. Peter left his nets and moved on to a new calling. For three years, he followed Jesus as his disciple, a fisher of men.
But then came another calling. This time, the risen Lord Jesus called him to be a shepherd! ‘Feed my sheep’, Jesus said. Peter became a pastor, a bishop, a shepherd of the church. And his final call was to die a martyr’s death in the service of Christ for the glory of God.
Last week I had a dream, one of those rare dreams which, because it contains a surprise out of nowhere, stay in the memory.
I dreamed I was getting ready to go with friends and colleagues on an assignment, which meant presenting some of my work, the use of visual aids and a prepared speech. I began to get ready, fussing over the equipment I would need, the material I would use, and also what I would wear. I remember trying to decide between pink or purple tights, wanting to make the right impression.
A further anxiety was that the road outside was under repair, with potholes and some surface water. I moved my own car into a better position so that the car picking me up could have more room. I waited, mentally going over my list of all that I would take with me and all that I would have to do before being collected.
And then suddenly, without warning, a vehicle arrived outside. Instead of a sleek black car with seats for several passengers, it was a brown charabanc, an old-fashioned bus, and every window was crammed with familiar smiling faces calling me to ‘come on!’ I left the house immediately, without changing my clothes, without any of my presentation material, without any equipment.
And then, dear reader, I woke up.
My first thought was that this dream was about death. When we are called to God’s presence, we leave everything behind, we go dressed as we are and we join those who have gone before us. My further thought was that this could be about vocation. Christ called the fishermen to leave their nets and to follow him. We come to Christ just as we are. He equips us for the journey, and he gives us the company of other saints as our travelling companions. We step out unprepared, beyond our own excessive fretting and planning, and we join his joyful and purposeful band of followers. Our assignment is of his shaping and choosing. And he takes us where he wants us to go.
Lord, help me to let go of the fussiness and unnecessary details, the silly ways I try to impress, my shallow plans, and help me to join in your plans and purposes, and follow where you lead.