I was three days into my new position at work when I stepped into the elevator just in time to hear a man say to his colleague, “Sometimes you don’t have to figure out why. Just follow me.” Preoccupied by nerves and thinking about all I had learned that day, it’s a wonder I even heard it, but when he spoke, it drowned out everything else.
I don’t know the backstory or the context of the statement made by that unknown man. I can’t even tell you what he looked like, but I could not shake the profoundness of what he said. That day, and for a few days thereafter, that statement replayed in my head at the most random times, and two weeks later, I find myself thinking about it still.
It’s a statement that you hear, and you just know God is trying to teach you something. You know what I’m talking about? Maybe it’s a passage of scripture that comes up at the most opportune time, not once, not twice, but repeatedly, or it’s a song that pops in your head exactly when you need it. That’s what that statement was and is for me.
Sometimes, I don’t have to figure out why. I just need to follow Jesus.In the gospels, Jesus said more than once, “Follow me,” and most of the time, the ones who heard Him immediately dropped everything to follow Him. Matthew recorded that the first four disciples that Jesus called – Peter, Andrew, James, and John – all “immediately” left their boats behind to follow Him (they were fishermen by trade, so this is a big deal!). Most likely, the disciples, like you and me, had some questions. They just left their jobs for crying out loud! They left everything for a man they just met!
I wonder why, after years of knowing Him, is it harder to just follow Him? When I first gave my life to Christ, it was easy. Like the disciples, I ran toward Him without looking back. Was it easier for you too? Now, in all my analyzing and thinking, sometimes I find myself not following Him so easily. I’ve found myself letting experiences dictate my next steps and letting fear make decisions for me. It’s not so easy to follow Him if I don’t know the how, when, why, where, and what.
How is this situation going to help me reach my goals when it feels like a setback?
When will these mundane steps I’m taking even make a difference?
Why do I have to go through all this pain just to come out stronger?
Where are you taking me next, God?
What are you even doing in this situation?
Those are just some of the questions I ask myself at times. I want to be like those first four disciples that said goodbye to what they knew and welcomed uncertainty. They didn’t know everything at the time, but they knew who they were following. They, too, had their questions. All throughout the gospels, the disciples asked question after question; yet, they still followed Him, heart and soul, all the way to the Cross and then, even to their own deaths.
I think hearing what that man said that day in the elevator was a reminder. It was to remind me of what it was like to follow Christ despite my questions. It was a reminder to just simply follow Him without having to know everything or have it all figured out. As followers of Christ, we might have questions, and that’s okay. We don’t, however, have to figure out all the answers right away in order to follow Him.
“Sometimes you don’t have to figure out why. Just follow me,” said the man in the elevator. Perhaps Jesus is saying something similar to you and me.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”