Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea - for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. Mark 1:14-20
I was thinking about my experience in Alaska and how fishing was essential to understanding Tlingit life in SE Alaska. The people's identity is wrapped up in fishing. It is a multi-generational experience. It involves both genders. Everyone participates in some way. Every part of what is recovered is often used, from bones for fish hooks to skins for skin bags. The nets and boats are a small part of the life. The smokers and the weavers, the story tellers and the cooks. This life includes everyone and everyone is called to the edge of the water.
Jesus comes to the edge of the water and calls fishermen to follow him. These men were people who fished for generations. Fishing was in their blood, in their bellies and in their identities. Fishing was in their wives and in their mothers as well as their children and grandchildren. Fishing was who they were. Jesus calls them away from everything they know. They go away with him, to brave a new calling. They take their complete selves with them and never stop being fishermen. God invites us to follow, leaving nets behind, maybe, but bringing our full selves with us as we go.
Today I ask God to help me bring my full self to all I am called to do and be. May we know God as the source of our lives and bring all of ourselves to the journey ahead.