“Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, saying ‘Christian, follow Me.”
It seems the most of my life I have been challenged by the call of Jesus. I heard his call in the hot, summer sanctuaries of Sunday services (morning and evening) and revivals (more than I could count). I saw Him as I was surrounded by beautiful stained glass scenes of Jesus standing at the door — supposedly of my heart — or speaking with the woman at the well, or holding a lamb and a shepherd’s staff, or rising from the tomb. And others, all in the sanctuaries of my lifetime.
I felt His presence, pressing me always away from evil and toward those in need. Likewise I felt my conscience, trying to block Him out or appease Him somehow. I tasted Him in the communion crackers and juice, even though we were appalled (or supposed to be) by the notion of “transubstantiation.” It was Him. There were times I felt I could almost touch Him, or at least the hem of his robe. I have reached for that more times than I have been in revival meetings.
Worthiness. That was the question of my childhood. Was I worthy of the privilege of following the One Who saved us? That was the question of my adolescence. Why did I continue to do those things which compromised whatever worthiness I had remaining. How could I hurt someone Who had already suffered so? I tried, to no avail, to count the cost of my rescue…and my next rescue…and my next. It was then that I really understood that opening to the old black and white TV series “Ben Casey.” They made several medical signs to open each episode, and the final one was the sign for “Infinity.” It was looking back over the times in which He rescued me that I began to grasp some of the futility of counting His cost: Infinity. So what am I willing to pay?
That face. Just look at that face. And emerging from my teenage guilt into adulthood, I wanted so much to get it right. Have I ever? Has anyone? Why won’t God make me worthy if He has so much interest in me? Or does He?
I have never had any difficulty finding myself in this picture, underneath the shadow of his uplifted hands. I have been in the position, with the expression, in such proximity as everyone in this picture. My life’s wild restless sea is the same as everyone else’s, and very likely not so restless as most who have emerged into this world, wet and bloody and screaming. God created me. God knew me before I was even born. So of course it is God, and God alone, Who can do with me what He wills, if only I will open that door and stop trying to do it for myself. I am neither worthy nor ready. But I have heard the Call.
God does not call the righteous, for none are righteous. God does not call the equipped. But God equips the called. Follow. Listen. Learn. Grow. Serve. “Christian: Follow Me.”
Enrich your discipleship and the discipleship of others through the various resources of The Disciples College. Join in the living witness of Mission with The Mission for Biblical Literacy. You can have an immediate impact on your own spiritual journey with either or both of these ministries. Contact Dr. Bob Harris for details at 770-815-9078 (EST)