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“follow me” & trust

July 1, 2007 3 comments

plowToday’s readings spoke directly to me.  In the first reading (1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21), Elijah (directed by the Lord) called Elisha to follow and succeed him as a prophet to the people.  Elisha recognized God’s call and left his life, sacrificed (literally), and did God’s will wholeheartedly, knowing a prophet’s life is miserable (but the retirement benefits are out of this world).

Then, in the Gospel reading (Lk 9:51-62), some disciples tell Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  (–easier said than done)  When some start to hesitate, Jesus reminds them, “… go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  They declare they’re willing, but don’t give up their old lives to respond to the call.  Jesus sums up with “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I need some clarification here!  The basic message seems to be the first commandment, “trust God wholeheartedly without reservations.”  But the fine print seems blurry.  How “blindly” are we to follow “God’s will.”  It seems to be a extremist’s motto.  It’s demanding, unquestionable and instantaneous.  Where’s the discernment process?

As we discern God’s will for the “big” things in our lives, like choosing a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, marriage or the single life, hearing the call is difficult.  I guess that’s why discernment takes so long.  But how do you know when you have an answer or final decision that has God’s hologram stamp?  I’ve heard that some who become priests still have doubts, even after a 6-9 year discernment process.  Some closure would be the least you could get for a lifelong commitment.  — Is it just me?