The Thirtieth Week OT
Gospel Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
All too often our life feels like a pinball machine in which we are being bounced and pushed and slammed against all sorts of obstacles in a sort of a frenetic activity that is exhausting. We move from decision to decision, from experience to experience, and from event to event all under the yoke of expectation that we always have to be, “Doing.” However so often we forget that we are called, “Human beings” not, “Human doings.”
There is something fundamentally good about taking a moment, and about rejoicing in relationships, and about re-creating ourselves in recreation. I think rather than spending our life like we are in a pinball machine perhaps it would be better for us to live our life as though we are walking down the side of a mountain; a steep mountain where you don’t run, and you don’t rush. Yet you pause every so often to get a map of the land below you. Allowing yourself to cautiously place your foot on the mountain side, for fear that each step that you take you could slip. We need to have an intelligent approach to life where we discern our next steps, where we move slowly, not quickly, and one where we react with intelligence not with feelings.
I think this is what we learn from Jesus today, “Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.” Why is that? Because Jesus was about to make one of the most important decisions of His entire earthly life: to call the twelve men to follow Him, the ones who would carry on His mission. Jesus did not act quickly, nor did He presume on His divinity to simply make the right decision. Rather in His humanity, He knew that he needed to go away to pray about this decision, and to discern. I am sure that there were more than twelve potential Apostles who could have been His closest followers. Yet Jesus intelligently thought about the people and after thinking about them He went down and specifically selected the ones who would receive His message. He did it cautiously and he did it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit according to the will of His Father.
He took time. I think we also need to take time. Not to presume on our own particular intelligence, just like Jesus did not presume on His divinity. To many times our decisions, even our small decisions are done without reference to God. Too frequently, we simply bounce like a pinball from one obstacle to the next, and from one event to another just being thrown around by life. So today let us learn from Jesus, to slow down, to be cautious, and to think deeply about our next steps so that we can have sure footing on the decisions that affect our life. And let’s do this according to power of the Holy Spirit and according to the will of God, the Father.