Reflection by Callum Williams:
Readings: Job 9;1-12 14-16; Psalm 88:1-6, 11; Luke 9:57-end
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ - Luke 9:57
Have you ever wondered where your life is going to lead you?
Children are often asked the question: ‘What do you want to be when you are older?’ Another way of putting this would be ‘What career path are you wanting to follow when you are older?’
The language may vary, but from an early age the questions asked are designed to make us think about what life path we are going to follow. As people we often have a path for our own lives mapped out. This path is what we then try to follow throughout our childhood into our adulthood. For many, this will include mapping out the career path they would want to become their vocation. It may have included the desire to get married and have children. Perhaps it was for you to have a particular career path such as to be a teacher, doctor or labourer. What did you have to do to follow that path? What sacrifices did you make to achieve the goals you had strived for?
I wonder how you came to Christ?
I came to Christ through a particularly enthusiastic member of one of the local church youth groups persistently inviting me along. Regardless of whether it is a faith we inherited from our family or something we have discovered for ourselves, there will have been a point that we declared ‘I will follow you wherever you go’. This might have been a conscious declaration, through acts of worship as baptism or confirmation, or it may have been something you knew in your heart.
What does following Christ mean to you?
The desire to follow Christ is not a singular act or moment. Saying yes to Christ, and desiring to follow Christ wherever he may go, is a continuous commitment.
It may not always be easy but as Christians the calling and commitment is to the love, worship, and pursuit of Christ and his teachings. This is not a circumstantial activity where we pick and choose when and where we will follow. The commitment should be to follow Christ in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in and wherever he may lead us.
Following Christ is not always an easy pursuit. Elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus tells us it is not going to be an easy life if we follow him (for example, Matthew 10:22). What remains important is how we respond to Jesus and where following him takes us. We could give up and turn away from the route or we can commit to the desire to follow Jesus wherever he goes. Where we go, Jesus goes with us. He does not commit us to a life of isolation or abandon us in the difficult times. I encourage you when times get tough to earnestly seek Jesus more and more, to commit to following Jesus wherever this may take you.
Personally, following Jesus has led me into some quite surprising encounters. It has led me down a path I never thought I would find myself following. Following Jesus led me to theological college and it has resulted in exploring my particular sense of vocation, which I believe to be to ordained ministry. Following Jesus has taken me out of my comfort zone. How have I responded? My response has been to take up the opportunities presented to explore this sense of vocation which in turn has led me to writing these reflections to encourage you in your faith.
Where has following Christ taken you? How are you going to respond to following Jesus into difficult or uncomfortable situations this week? Are you going to seek to draw closer to Jesus or are you going to avoid the situation Jesus calls you into?
Let us all this week resist the temptation to avoid the difficult situations Jesus may be calling us into. Instead, let us commit to drawing closer to him, saying: ‘I will follow you wherever you go.