Immediately by Bob Wickizer

Bob Wickizer
Jonah 3:1-5,10; Psalm 62:6-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Three scientists were discussing the most significant invention of the 20th century. One cited the decoding of the human genome. Another mentioned nuclear energy. The third scientist was something of a comedian so she said it was the thermos bottle. The other two looked at her with amazement. ''Thermos bottle?'' they said in mocking tones. She replied ''Absolutely. You put in hot; it stays hot. You put in cold and it stays cold. How does it know?''

How do we know anything is always a good question. The five dollar name for the theory of how we know things is called ''epistemology.'' It may be helpful to touch on this as we look at the question of how do we know when we are called and what happens to others who may not experience that same calling.

In our gospel from Mark Jesus calls four fishermen from their simple occupations to becoming ''fishers of men.'' In the early 1990s I experienced a similar kind of pull. We were quite comfortable doing high technology in Silicon Valley and raising two children. My father passed away and to make a long story short, in a twenty four hour span I was given two radically different views of the meaning of one's life. I was deeply disturbed by the seemingly opposing views that you can pursue monetary wealth or you can do the things that truly matter to people such as listening, loving, being present and teaching. I began to have a recurring dream involving me presiding at baptism and Eucharist. The dream haunted me until I went to visit my bishop about it. It took several more years of discernment and what I can nicely call ''church bureaucracy'' before we actually left for seminary. I often thought about the phrase in Mark's gospel, ''and immediately they followed him'' wondering why the church stretched immediately into four or five years.

The most challenging part of responding to a call was at home. My dear wife respond ...

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