What prompts us to make a decision in life that would change, perhaps forever, our direction, our place in the world, our fundamental purpose for being?
It could be a book we read. Or a lecture we hear. Or the opinion of a friend. Or, a story in a newspaper or magazine. After all, we are hearing opinions all the time, on radio programs, and TV news shows. "The media" fills our minds every day with reports, events, pronouncements, tweets, that are intended to influence us. To fill us with rage, to make us join a movement, whether it is "#Me, too" or a political platform.
We're told of injustice, of mistreatment, of court rulings and judgements. If we're on Facebook, we may respond, by agreeing or countering the opinion we've heard.
But, for real life changes, the influence usually comes from a person. Someone who has captured our attention, and calls us to action.
One of the most compelling calls to action we have ever heard, has come to us from a person. Often an unusual person, an unexpected person, a "different" person. Someone who compels our attention.
The Bible offers us one of the most unique confrontations in our experience. It is from a man on the beach. Someone walking along the shore. If we're there with our boat, or our fishing pole, or picking up shells, the beachcomber man, stops to watch what we're doing. In two great instances the beachcomber offers an invitation or a question.
One time, He says, "Come, follow Me, and I'll change your life." In another, He swiftly says, "Peter, do you love me?" It is, of course, Jesus with a question for our lives. "Come, be with Me," is the first thing He says. Much later, He says, "Peter, do you love me?"
Huge questions. Life-changing questions. Questions to challenge our very being. Questions calling us to change. Questions to make us review our lives, question our own assumptions.
What if we were to leave what we're doing and follow Jesus. Actually, go with Him as those young fishermen did so long ago. Or look within our hearts to see if we are true; if we're on track, keeping our promises?
We can do it. By prayer each day, remembering the journey, and looking for Jesus at our side. He will remind us where to go and what to say. And how to pray.
There will be signs of His presence - in answers to our prayers. We will see the sick healed, the blind seeing, the lame walking.
Look around. It's already happening. And that is News - "The Kingdom of God is at hand." Pray for eyes to see.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES