Come . . .Without Hesitation!
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Sometimes I think that the best part of coming home to an empty house is our dog greeting me at the top of the steps. Without question, I can walk in the front door or come up the stairs from the basement and Duke is there with his tail wagging and his demeanor full of anticipation. Duke is always so glad to see us coming, it warms the heart to know that he will be there to greet me on any given day no matter what I may have encountered along the way.
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of an animal? The movie, “Up!” and the animated dog “Dug” makes me think that dogs are often flighty and easily distracted. The sight of a squirrel in the yard, or another dog walking with his human on the street in front of the house can easily distract our dog to the point of confusion.
Duke isn’t the most intelligent dog. He can’t do elaborate tricks and he can’t tackle obstacle courses. However, he is pretty good at some basic commands. It may have taken some time in training, but when asked to sit and stay, he can tolerate the anticipation of a treat pretty well.
Yet, what amazes me is, no matter how many times he is commanded to “come,” he responds with the same excited greeting that you can expect when he sees you come in from a long day. He comes, without hesitation and with excitement.
I bet you can see what’s coming next! I’m going to say that we have to be like dogs! Guess what - you’re right!
When Jesus calls us, how do you respond?
In this passage from Luke, the opening of the pericope says that those who were encountering Jesus along the way said to him that they would go wherever he would go. And yet, it doesn’t take long for those who were responding along that path to list a litany of excuses of why they could go, but not now, maybe later -- “I have some things to do” kind of excuses.
Sometimes, when Jesus says “come”, we even answer the command with less than enthusiastic responses. We go, but we go with hesitation and lukewarm anticipation of what might be there for us when we answer.
Peter is probably one of my favorite characters from scripture. Maybe it’s his personality that is portrayed in the texts that I read, but I see a lot of him in me. I see a lot of him in me, and yet I wish there was a whole lot more of him in me.
When Peter is in the boat and Jesus calls to him to come out, Peter steps out without hesitation. He does it. Sure, when he sees the waves around him and gets a little skittish, he begins to sink, but he gets out of the boat and goes to Jesus. The bombastic, talk-before-he-thinks Peter gets out of the boat and walks.
It’s that “come without hesitation” personality that I wish was more present in our lives. You don’t have to be a dog to answer the call of Jesus in your life with excitement and a sharp response. When Jesus calls out our name to go and do, I wish we would “go wherever [Jesus] goes.”
That’s my prayer today.