Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No forewarning

Mark I: 16-28
The word immediately crops up a lot in the New Testament. Today's lesson is no exception. Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be fishers of men and immediately they drop their nets. He immediately calls James and John, and they leave with him too. None of this "Let's think it over for a minute. Do you mind if I park my boat?" Jesus calls. They go.

im·me·di·ate·ly [i-mee-dee-it-lee]
definitions: without lapse of time; without delay; instantly; at once, with no object or space intervening.

with no object or space intervening There's always space intervening in our physical world. Science has discovered that the space far exceeds the physical mass of any objects ricocheting off each other at the subatomic level, that the space between planets and galaxies is far greater than we ever imagined by simply looking at the night sky. Yet, as all things are timeless for God, all things must be immediate.

To answer a call immediately means no time for discernment, no time to put your affairs in order. "How impulsive!" we say, of anyone today who would be so irresponsible, (or as in James and John's case) that uncaring of their father's business interests. Yet this was Jesus calling, God's son. Of course they went at once, without delay, instantly.

We don't do that so much now. We discourage impulsive action, are suspect of ideas not carefully thought out. Where's the prospectus? I'd like to see your business plan. Oh no plan, other than I need to overturn the existing power structure. I expect to be in business for about three years and then be lynched by the authorities and go out in disgrace...

Right. We're with you. Yes sirree. Lets get on this immediately.


merryn said...

Your post today reminds me of my years-long waffling about whether or not I think I'm really meant to be a nun. Not only do I want to see the business plan, I want you to move to the west coast...

I've always been amazed at this passage in Mark and have thought perhaps there was a lot that came before those "immediate" decisions to follow Jesus. And, I have envied them for the apparent ease of their decisions.

Zanne said...

Yes, I find this pretty challenging too. Not really sure how this example jibes with my 3 years 3 months in discernment just to get to go to seminary. Discernment seems to be a lifestyle for those of us in various kinds of processes but there must be a place for that impulsive obeying without delay too. Haven't got it figured out...
Maybe more paradox? :D