Sometimes, we think we are too old to make a dramatic change in our lives. Maybe I should just speak for myself. I tend to think that I need to keep doing what I’m doing to advance my career, provide for my family, and secure my future. Starting over, following a new dream … well, it just seems like it might be too late for that.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus calls his first disciples. They’re in their fishing boats, mending their nets after a hard day’s work. “Come after me,” Jesus tells them, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
What did they do? “They abandoned their nets and followed him.” Now, I don’t know if these disciples actually made a decision to abandon their careers in that moment, or if they just thought they were taking a day off, but the message is clear — Jesus calls us to be transformed.
The other part of the message that is clear is the disciples were not particularly satisfied with their current situations. Maybe they felt bored or defeated by the monotony of their lives with the constant hard work, the struggle to find material or spiritual security. And when they heard Jesus, maybe they understood that something amazing was happening around them and within them.
How it could possibly too late to experience something so wonderful as a life-changing encounter with God?
Of course, we know the rest of the story. These men and many more men and women were indeed transformed by their experience of God’s love through Jesus Christ.
So what if we don’t feel like our lives have been transformed, or like we’re not living our dream or anyone else’s dream. Is it too late? Is it too late if you’re 20, 40, 60 or 80 years old? I ask myself: How it could possibly too late to experience something so wonderful as a life-changing encounter with God?
Does it mean we have to quit our jobs or leave our loved ones? Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll never know until we take at least one step further towards Christ.
Warren Miller, the famous adventurer and maker of ski films says, “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” That’s the message I take away from today’s reading. If I don’t take a step toward my own transformation now, I’ll just be one more year older when I finally get around to it.
Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected].