“And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” - Matthew 4:19
One doesn’t become the most decorated Olympian of all time by skill alone. Just ask Michael Phelps. During training seasons, Phelps has reported that he spent five hours a day in the pool swimming hundreds of laps. Then he would strength train three days a week on top of his pool workouts. In order to exercise at such high intensity, Phelps had to consume upwards of 10,000 calories each day. Here is what a typical day looked like for this Olympian:
6:00 a.m. Wake Up
7:00-9:00 a.m. Swim
9:00-10:00 a.m. Lift weights (3 days)
2:00-4:00 p.m. Swim some more
As you can see, there isn’t much free time in his schedule. Phelps laughingly said that in between his workouts he ate and slept. His life basically consisted of swimming, eating and sleeping. Swimming isn’t just a skill he has learned – it is a way of life. Think of everything he gave up to become the athlete that he is today. He abandoned all to his sport.
Compare this example with the life to which Christ has called His disciples. “Fishing for men” is not a skill to be learned on Sundays. Sure, there are some practical things we can do to train ourselves to be ready to share the Gospel, but Jesus has called us to a way of life, not to church attendance or programs.
Christ’s invitation is one of total surrender. When Jesus called His twelve they left everything behind. Following Jesus will cost us everything in this life; but refusing to follow Him will cost us more in the life that is to come. It takes discipline to remember that much of what surrounds us in our daily lives is temporary. Often the most important things – that which will last forever – are pushed to the back burner. The temporary feels more urgent if our focus is only on what we see.
If we ever want to truly know Christ deeply, we must beg Him to change our hearts. This change will require total abandonment of our ideas, feelings, agendas and dreams. But we can be sure that if we ask Him, He will be faithful to change us from the inside out.
You were created to know and enjoy God now…today. He has invited you to a life in His presence…one that is better than you can imagine.
Dear Father, Help me to see past what is temporary. Thank You for calling me to a life with You. Help me as I strive to be a fisher of men.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.