Sunday, January 14, 2018

Attracted to Jesus


I have been a leader much of my adult life taking upon positions such as coach, department chair, committee head, and so on. For whatever reason I am naturally drawn to those positions when I see that no one else desires to lead. This can be both a blessing and a curse as when all is well accolades abound and things go wrong the blame invariably falls on the one leading. I can't really pinpoint when the desire to lead started other than my last two years in high school. However, I know that as an adult, I have found that I don't follow well as I think I can always do better than the next person and I am not patient when people don't take the lead on issues.

Being a follower for me is better suited for following sports teams. I would like to think that I am not follower of anyone and I march to my own drum. Of course there is a lot of ego involved here. So what about following Christ? What is attractive in this?

I have not been called like Samuel who heard the Lord calling him and took on upon the role of prophet. My path is more circuitous growing up in a Catholic home, attending religious education classes and completing the sacraments, but then traveling along my own unfulfilling path of worldly and material attractions which only providing emptiness. It wasn't until I realized that I was looking for God in all of these ventures. Jesus did not call me out and if he did I wasn't listening anyway. Through a gradual reeducation of the teaching of Church and surrendering my life and worldly desires did I find the simplicity of following Christ. This is the same simplicity that John's Gospel reveals.


 What is interesting about Jesus in today's gospel is that he is not looking for followers, but that John's disciples are attracted to him. There was certain magnetism that stirred the hearts of these men to follow the Lamb of God. Jesus was not and is not like leaders today who can be bombastic or draw on peoples emotions with appealing speeches and promises of a new beginning. In my morning guided meditation I was asked to visualize where Jesus was staying when replied," Come and you will see." JN 1:39. I could a picture a simple dwelling, perhaps he was staying at the home of someone who he had cured on a sickness or someone labeled a sinner. This I found attractive. There are so many other qualities that bring me to become a follower and not a leader that I cannot list them all.

Perhaps finding so much emptiness in the pursuit of the so called dream  brings me back to the simplicity of Jesus. Living with no more than what is needed was the call of Jesus disciples. I find that the more I desire to obtain the more stressed I become of the pursuit to the goal. For me following Jesus is not a maddening chase, but it is found in solitude of reading and prayer or attending Mass.  Jesus is not the loud voice on television urging me to follow him nor is he the looming billboard on the freeway beckoning to buy a product or attend an event. He is as Paul says found in the temple of my body. (1 COR 6:13) He is always there. He is always leading me on if I choose to follow. What can be attractive than that?


My favorite band U2 released the song I Will Follow in 1980.  If one listens they just might find themselves in the song. The lead singer Bono is said that song was about a mother, but could easily be about God as well. 

I was on the outside when you said
You said you needed me 
I was looking at myself
I was blind, I could not see

A boy tries hard to be a man
His mother takes him by his hand
If he stops to think he starts to cry
Oh why

If you walkaway, walkaway
I walkaway, walkaway...I will follow

If you walkaway, walkaway
I walkaway, walkaway...I will follow

I was on the inside
When they pulled the four walls down
I was looking through the window
I was lost, I am found

Walkaway, walkaway
I walkaway, walkaway...I will follow
If you walkaway, walkaway,
I walkaway, walkaway...I will follow
I will follow

Your eyes make a circle
I see you when I go in there
Your eyes, your eyes...

If you walkaway, walkaway
I walkaway, walkaway..I will follow

If you walkaway, walkaway
I walkaway, walkaway...I will follow

I will follow
I will follow...

1 comment:

  1. I like that U2 song, in this context.

    As you said, our Lord isn't like many leaders.

    Offering some combination of blood, sweat, toil and tears as a short-term prospect isn't an obvious crowd-pleaser. But it's a promise I can take seriously. And do. Thanks for posting this.