Finding What It Means to Follow
In the New Testament, there are so many stories where Jesus says a simple command, "follow me", and people get up and follow. It's that easy. They leave the way of life they've always known and everything they've worked for, they leave their families, they leave their lives and everything they have, and they follow. I've read these stories over and over since I was a kid, and I always wondered what I would have said or done.
If Jesus had said, "Rachel, follow me," would I have followed?
This week, when I read another of these stories in Luke, I realized so clearly that He has said that to me, time and time again. I saw it differently.
I flashed back to my last semester as a student at JMU. I remembered the stress of job hunting, scouring websites looking for anything remotely relevant to my interests, applying for everything under the sun, desperate for a job after graduation. Nothing worked out. Jesus was saying "follow me."
I graduated. I came back to Richmond. I moved back in with my parents. I went back to a job I had worked at every summer in college. I still searched for that perfect job I had fabricated in my head, the career that would validate the years I spent earning that diploma now hanging on the wall collecting dust.
Jesus was saying "follow me."
As the weeks went on and I kept stressing and searching for the things I believed I so badly wanted, I realized I had no other option but to trust Him, to trust His timing and His plan. Obviously all my best efforts at finding that job on my own had led me nowhere, so I gave up trying so hard, and started surrendering.
And then, in a funny little series of events that only God could orchestrate, a job description ended up in my inbox from several different people who all thought it sounded like me. It was the perfect job. It was my dream job.
So, I applied. I went through several rounds of interviews. I didn't tell anyone about it. And then, I got the job. And none of it was because I followed my own path. What I thought I wanted was to go to London or Seattle, to escape Richmond once and for all. But here I am, in a job I love that lets me do every single thing I love to do for a cause that I am so passionate about, in Richmond, of all places.
All of it was because Jesus said "follow me" and I gave up everything I was working so hard to find and just followed.
This is not a story of Rachel being a really good follower of Christ. This is a story of Jesus doing radical and incredible things in our lives when we leave everything behind and follow Him. This has always been a story of the unlikely, the unworthy, the unqualified walking away from everything and going with Him.
This is a story of Jesus telling us "there is nothing to fear" as we leave our lives behind and just follow Him.