“You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit…Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” (John 14/15)
The short answer is YES! As my birthday approaches (tomorrow LOL) I always become reflective of where I am in life, how far I’ve come and where I may be going. Not just physically, but spiritually.
Hopefully as we age we gain a little wisdom. For me, as I take part in various spiritual gatherings (like hearing our Holy Land tour guide Hani Awwad recently speak, and being on The Prayer Investigator radio show with Linda Shepherd) … and as I look forward to more (seeing The Chosen Season 4 movie in my local theater, and speaking Feb. 20 at the upcoming 2024 Spiritual Growth Virtual Summit for Women)…I have come to realize something important. That I was chosen by God at birth to be His child, and that I am chosen now by Jesus to be his disciple since it says so right in the Gospels.
I believe that each and every day I am called to do God’s will and to live with Jesus’ guidance. Each day may bring surprises, even miracles, and also challenges we must go through. Most importantly, I know that I must choose to follow Him as a disciple.
Of course, it hasn’t always been this way for me and there were many dark days where I doubted the answer to this question…
Every Day Love & Service?
Even though I was born and raised Christian and have always considered myself to follow God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), I had many doubts about being worthy to serve him, I was self-centered and didn’t much care about serving others for a time, and I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus, as I often heard my fellow Christian authors, speakers and friends say they did. A trip to the Holy Land with Father Casey Jones and musician Jon Niven with tour guide Hani Awwad changed all that. Yes, I was “saved” nearly 20 years ago when I got sober, and started to really believe God loved me and cared about me. But after that trip about seven months ago, I started talking to Jesus…as if he were sitting in the room with me, sending his Holy Spirit when I asked as I wrote or spoke, and yes, even swimming with me when I went to Florida recently. All I have to do is call on His name, ask for His help, and rest in His unconditional love. And yes, choose to follow Him. Which takes a little more work…
Being a Disciple
It’s not always easy being called. It takes confidence, courage, action…even when I’m hungry, grouchy, achy, tired. Yet, when I think to look back on my day, really look, I can see how I was called to serve God and others in big ways and small. To push myself to edit one of my client’s books that God put on their heart to get out as soon as possible…or to write my next book as well. Or to care for one of my grandchildren or help one of my adult kids or just take the time to talk to a friend. It all matters. And when I turn away, I’m rejecting that call. So really it’s up to me to be a “chosen one”. As Fr. Casey said in a recent homily while I was visiting his church in Naples, we’re really not seeking for a “personal” relationship with Jesus so much as a “community” relationship. Look again at the “The Chosen” movie promos…you usually always see the 12 apostles together following Jesus. And if you watch the show you realize none of them are perfect…but they all make each other better by listening to the Messiah.
Valentine’s Day always follows my birthday of course. I love the whole Gospel of John and encourage you to especially read Chapters 14-17 where Jesus pretty much lays out all of the instructions for US as well as the disciples in His time. If we truly believe what He tells us in these chapters…then we will all live to our fullest potential in serving Him and others with our time and talents. What better way to live?