Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leaving Nets

"At once they left their nets and followed him." Mark 1:18

Choosing unemployment is not something that most people consider a right or sane choice. In these hard economic times there is lots of talk about job loss and job hunts, bur very few people in our country today would choose to be unemployed. In 1983, I made that choice. I had a secure job at Johns Hopkins working in the library with people I loved. I had many friends there and we had reconnected with many old friends through my connections there. But I also had a new daughter, our second, Ariel. Emily, our eldest had just turned five and was starting kindergarten. I could have stayed employed, had good daycare and school arrangements and we could have been quite secure financially and many other ways. But my heart wasn't in it. My heart was with my girls and just as when Emily had been small, my heart was breaking at the thought of having my infant cling to anyone else but me. With Emily too, in 1978, I had chosen unemployment - foolhardy me. But love was pushing me to be with the ones I loved, the incredible gifts from God who would never be that small or that vulnerable again. I needed to be with them, desperately. So I left my nets and followed my heart. I clung to the love God had given me.

The first disciples were working fishermen, a life they loved, a labor they knew well. Their whole identity was formed in fishing, with the water and boats around them. They were secure, surrounded by friends and family, and they had a livelihood that was sound and regular. And then God puts Jesus in their path. Love incarnate comes among them and they followed their hearts - without question and without looking back.

Today, this first Sunday in Lent, I am called to examine anew what it means to follow my heart. What does it mean to follow love incarnate that is right here in my path? What does it mean to drop my nets, and follow Jesus? I pray that this Lent can be a time of honest examination for me that leads to following God -no looking back. Knowing that God puts love right in our path. God's love is our security and our increase. May we all be blessed in this season to put down our nets and follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.

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