Monday, February 24, 2014

Mentor Moment #1 by Julie Westfall

It’s been one of those crazy, exhausting weeks. As I look back on my week, I realize I just really want everything in life to go smoothly.  I want to have all the answers; in other words, I want to be an expert at life. If I were an expert at life, I would know how to raise a teenage boy who loves to argue. I would know how to encourage my homesick college student. I would have enough energy to go out and play basketball with my seventh grader because she needs quality time. I would know how to make my fourth grader responsible. I would make healthy dinners and have the time to go to all my kids sporting events. I would clean my house with a smile and not yell at my kids, I would know exactly what to say when dealing with hurtful comments…. 

Today, my desire is to know how to do it all. I’m tired of struggling and being confused. Parenting somehow seemed easier when I watched my parents do it. I guess I thought I would turn 40 and things would all of the sudden make sense, but I’m realizing I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point of having it all together… and you know what, I think Jesus is fine with it. He isn’t surprised by my inadequacies (I wonder why I am?). Jesus simply wants me to follow Him. That’s the only thing He asked the disciples to do when He called them, and the only thing He asks of us as well. Jesus knows when we follow Him we will change and become more like Him; all it takes is a willingness to follow. 

So today, I surrender my desire to be an expert, my desire to have it all figured out, and instead, I humbly take Jesus’ hand and ask Him to lead the way. The next time I feel completely inadequate as a parent I will get down on my knees and ask Jesus to take up my slack, to bridge the gap between who I am and what my kids need. I will remind myself that I’m not meant to have all the answers, but I serve a God who has all knowledge of every situation. The next time I can’t remember the last time I fed my kids a vegetable, or I forget to pick up a neighbor for carpool, or leave a school project for the last minute, I will give myself grace and forgiveness for not having it all together, and I will remind myself that Jesus isn’t surprised that I’m a mess. He simply calls me to follow.

Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Christ could have chosen anyone to become His disciples, yet He goes to the Sea of Galilee and asks four young fishermen. He wasn’t seeking royalty or scholars. He wasn’t asking those with all the answers, but rather uneducated men who were willing to leave everything to follow Him… once again proving that Christ isn’t after perfection, but rather a humble and willing heart.  

Christ gave each of us a unique set of people to live and do life with; they’re called our family. When Jesus called us to become parents, He wasn’t thinking we would be perfect, that we would have all the answers, that we would never fail, rather He was instead asking us to simply follow Him and He would make us fishers of men. As moms, we are fishers of men; we are proclaiming Christ every day to the children in our care. He asks us to follow Him and He will take care of everything else. We simply need to give ourselves the grace and forgiveness to keep moving forward.

Julie Westfall

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