As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
I think there is more to this passage about the call of the first disciples than meets the eye. At first glance it seems to present a point of fact: the first disciples were simple fishermen. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that the disciples were only fishermen and not highly advanced and educated super heroes.
If you were to go through a full lectio divina process with this passage, though, you might find yourself asking during the meditation phase how this passage applies to you and your life.
I’m guessing, if you are reading this, that you are not a professional fisherman, but what are you? What does this “fishers of men” verse mean to you?
What are you right now at this moment?
What were you in the past and how does it connect to the path that God has called you to follow today?
“Fishers of Men” Meaning: Be Who You Are
The key to this passage, in my mind, is the fact that God calls his first disciples to continue to be who they already are. He doesn’t call them to become something they are not in order to follow him. They will not completely abandon their identities as fisherman. They will now be “fishers of men.”
I think God calls us all in the same way. We each have been drawn towards certain interests and certain kinds of work. When Christ calls us to follow him, he calls us to go deeper into those interests not abandon them completely.
If we are writers, he calls us to write for him.
If we love kids, maybe we’re called to love kids for him.
If we love numbers and spreadsheets, maybe Christ is calling us to use those talents and interests in service of his Church.
From Play to Work
We had another snow day this week and I decided to teach my girls how to play the Wii. They are still young, but it was fun to watch them try to figure it out. I haven’t played video games in a very long time.
When I was younger, I loved video games. As the only child in our home, I spent hours and hours playing Role-playing video games and the kinds of games that take allow you to level up and take forever to beat.
It occurred to me yesterday that I used to love the leveling up while playing those games. I loved making the progress and seeing higher skills and experience points. I didn’t really care that much if I actually beat the game.
How has this influenced the path I’m following today?
That very same love finds its way in the work I do online. I’m a big analytics guy. I love taking action and measuring the results. I love growing email lists and seeing how that work impacts other people over time.
When I was a teacher, I spent hours and hours lesson planning. In my first two years of teaching, I put in at least two hours of planning each night. That work and that love flowed into my love for creating resources for other religious educators. I do love the actual teaching in the classroom, but it’s the preparation and the creation of better and better resources that I really love.
What about you?
What is it from your childhood that has found its way into the vocation you are living now?
Or, what kind of work do you do today that God is calling you to use to build his kingdom?