Tonight my wife and I were conversing about the big things in life. You know, questions like “what are we going to do in the future?” “How will our life count toward a better world?” “What does it mean for us to seek the kingdom of God above all else?”
Big picture stuff, in other words.
As we talked, the issue of what other people are doing with their lives came up. You have to understand there are ways in which our path has taken a different direction than many of our friends from Bible college days, and sometimes this fact can present a certain measure of difficulty in dealing with the very human temptation to compare ourselves with others. You understand this, I’m sure. It’s just tough when you feel like you’re walking alone.
But it was good for me to consider this tonight, as it led me to think back upon John 21. Verses 20-23 in particular. Here John is telling about the time when Jesus appeared to him and some of the others on the shore of Galilee following the Lord’s resurrection. Toward the end of the story Peter looks back to see John following behind Jesus and himself. There was a rumor going around about John at the time concerning what the Lord was going to have him do in the future, so Peter took the opportunity to ask the Master about it. Jesus’ response was very simple:
What’s it to you?
If this man shall follow me in that way, what is that to you? If I lead him to do a certain thing while you are busy with another, what difference does it make? You are following me and so is he. How each of you are called to follow is my business and not yours. Your responsibility is simply to be faithful in that to which I have called you.
And there you have it, plain and simple.
So tonight I am reminded that ultimately it does not matter what my brother is doing or how he is doing it. I wish him the best as I realize we are following the same Lord. But regardless of what he does I still have before me the choice to do God’s will as I see it. And at the end of the day, my heart will be satisfied with nothing less.
Neither will yours.