When Jesus called his 12 apostles, he asked them to leave behind their livelihoods, their families, all that they knew, to follow him. In a word, Jesus was asking for change, and his apostles were willing to accept that change in order to follow Jesus.
As young adults, we are perfectly situated in a state of change: having just left home, embarked for college and trying to forge our own paths in the world.
Life is full of change and we must be prepared for the twists and turns that it carries. In college, we live our lives in bubbles, safe inside the world of college campuses, until we have to face the reality of the real world and the job market. But what prepares us for the world that we face? What prepares us for the stress and reality of job loss, financial turmoil, sickness, student loan debt, etc.?
I don’t know if there is anything that can truly prepare us for reality except to simply jump in, but I do know that we can be prepared for changes that lie ahead by looking toward the implicit trust that we see in the example given to us by the 12 apostles.
In Matthew 4:18-20, Jesus calls his first disciples, Peter and Andrew, saying simply, “‘Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”
In like manner, Jesus calls his disciples today – all of us – simply asking us to follow him.
These chosen men were not scholars. They were everyday people, chosen for a purpose: to spread the words of the Gospel across the earth, the very words that continue to burn in our hearts today. With a childlike trust, Peter and Andrew cast aside their nets and followed Jesus.
It is with this same childlike trust that we, too, must learn to cast aside our own nets and follow Jesus.
As I walked into class the other morning, preparing my notes and going over my lecture slides before my students arrived, one of my students came in early and asked if she could ask me a question. Sometimes in another of their classes, students have an assignment that requires them to interview one of their professors, so I assumed this student was trying to fulfill her assignment.
I sat down and prepared to answer the questions that I knew were about to come. To my surprise, however, she merely wanted to know why I wanted to continue learning and continue teaching. She couldn’t understand why, after having completed college, I would want to continue going to classes. I almost laughed. I was completely caught off guard, but I answered as honestly as I could: no matter where we end up in our lives, we are always learning. We never stop learning and we never stop teaching ourselves because the world never stops changing, and we have to learn to change with it.
This year, I’ve had to learn the difference between being a master’s student and a doctoral student, but most importantly, I’ve had to learn the role of being a wife and balance that role with that of a student. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve quite mastered the balance all that well yet, but I’m getting there.
Like all young adults, I’m in a constant state of change and the unknown, jumping into reality and overcome by its overwhelming sensations of doubt and frustrations. More and more, however, I’m realizing the futility of trying to do things on my own. Rather than throw my hands up in despair, I’ve decided to cast my nets into the sea and place my trust in God’s hands.
Only God knows what he has in store for us, and we must be willing to accept the changes that are necessary in order to follow him.
Heather Bozant Witcher can be reached at email@example.com.