Summary: How active are we in our search for the destiny which we are being called into? Simon, Andrew, James & John immediately followed their destiny.
Each of us has an ambition in our lives and we will spend a large amount of our time seeking it. Our target may be economical such that we will attain a welcoming comfortable lifestyle. We could possibly seek and be elected to a political office to fulfill a public service vocation. Or maybe our providence leans more to the spiritual realm. Now it may be possible to combine all three; we may become a wealthy preacher with high political aspirations. However for some reason politics and spirituality do not quite resonate well with me. Today I want to spend some time speaking to our spiritual potential.
Simon, Andrew, James and John were content to be fishermen. According to Luke’s gospel they were partners in the fishing business, "For he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they took, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners." By our best guess they were moderately prosperous in their fishing endeavors. Mark tells us, James and John "left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him." Each set of brothers had their own boat, Jesus "saw two boats at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon."
Just as these two sets of brothers were going about their daily lives we too will become content with where we are and what we are doing. Our jobs may not be the most satisfying, but it is what we have been doing for some time, we are comfortable with it, so we settle in for the long haul. We get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work, come home, play with the kids or dog, putter around the house, eat supper, watch some television or read, then go to bed; only to wake up the next day and repeat the routine.
Mary, being a young woman in Nazareth, would awaken, probably prepare the breakfast meal, do her chores during the day, and then possibly have an opportunity to visit with Joseph in the afternoon – chaperoned of course. Joseph, if still living at home would arise, eat breakfast and go into his carpenter shop for the rest of the day. Both of these young people were probably content with their lives; Joseph was working in an honorable trade, Mary was looking forward to the day they would marry and she would have her own home to care for. I know that may sound chauvinistic, but that was the way it was in those days. Did these two young folks realize the future which lay ahead of them?
Our lives are developed around the vocations we select for ourselves. Each of us spends considerable time perfecting our chosen professions, either for progression upward or to satisfy our inner need to excel in what we do. Even if we are not really satisfied with our job, we will still do our best at it. Sometimes, however, all these things change. Maybe the economy goes bad and our jobs are shipped offshore, health issues may cause us to have to change our vocations, or maybe we are driven away because of an undesirable atmosphere within the workplace.