Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What about him?

At the close of the book of John, Jesus is describing of life and death that Peter will have to endure, to which Peter looks at John and asks, "What about him?" Jesus knew that the Apostle John was destined to die from old age on the island of Patmos, whereas Peter would be crucified upside down, as tradition goes.

I can identify with Peter. We all have our paths to walk and it's not for us to compare ourselves with others. I can't get angry or jealous because I see people with the calling to stay in the city, get their PhD's, teach in a seminary, have a generally normal life, raise kids, have a condo and car and beautiful wife.

Jesus says, "what's it to you? You follow me" Those of us going into missions in hostile, uncomfortable areas are not getting the short end of the stick; it's not a shotty life we'll be looking forward to. It's life with our master. He's leading us and we're following; it's not like we're going off alone. There is great joy and excitement in following hard after the Lord and not fretting about the comforts that others get to enjoy.

And in the end, everything turns out be relative, a matter of degree. There is often a fine line between joy and strife. Life in the city with a career and wife is not all joy. Life in the jungles with the mosquitoes and no running water is not all strife. And vice versa.

The point is to walk wholeheartedly with God, not looking over our shoulder to see what the next guy is doing and how much fun it must be.

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