“They Left the Boat and Their Father”
It’s not hard to imagine Zebedee standing there, net in hand, shouting after his sons and partners in the family business, “Hey—where do you think you’re going?” It’s also not hard to imagine him standing there, net in hand, mouth open, not knowing what to say. It’s also not hard to imagine him standing there, net in hand, wishing he could go, too.
James and John did leave their father, though, didn’t they?
O God, this is a hard prayer to pray.
Help us to have the faith and the courage to leave our father or mother or sister or brother or anyone else that we need to leave behind to do what we need to do for you.
We can never leave them completely behind, of course; we always carry them with us. But if going with you means going without them, help us to do that.
Maybe the even harder thing, Lord, is to have to leave them even if we stay where they are—to find it necessary to be different than they are and to live differently than they do right there in their town and right there under their noses. Maybe that takes even greater faith and courage.
But Lord, maybe our leaving them, whether we physically stay or go, can be the catalyst that leads them to follow you, too.
It would be great, Lord, if we could all go together…
“Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him”(Matthew 4:22).