letting go of ego: meet the Sons of Thunder
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Mark 1:16-20 | ESV
Aramaic for “sons of thunder.”
His love might be like a hurricane, but our impetuous anger can flash like lightening, leaving charred relationships and hearts that have crashed and burned.
That was no doubt a huge part of the “boat” that Jesus called these two brothers to step out of that day – along with the massive ego that was driving it.
It is good to know who we are, to be secure in our identity. Not so good to be consumed by it – or even by a self-seeking search for it. Such an all-consuming, egotistic drive tends to lead us into the waters Paul describes to his son Timothy: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Yes, we know this boat all too well, and we’ve been steering it under our own power for far too long.
It’s what we know.
It’s how we’ve learned to make our way in this world.
“But, when the Son of Man calls you, you’ve got to get out of the boat.”
And so he turns and calls us. It’s time to get out of this boat, to leave it on the shore of our own limited horizon. There are footprints in the sand to follow – and a much better and bigger catch of fish to seek.
In practical terms, what does it mean for you to “step out of the boat” today?
Lord, I both love and loathe this boat of my own ego driven by my own expectations and desires. Give me ears to hear your call to truly step out of it onto the shores of your mercy so I can follow in your footsteps freshly formed along the pathway called Life. Through Christ.