SpongeBob Square-pant’s teacher asked him “What is the meaning of the word procrastinate?”. He told his teacher, that he is tired. Could he answer the question tomorrow? And the teacher said, “SpongeBob, procrastinate means to postpone things until the next day”. And SpongeBob said; “Let us talk about it tomorrow or the next day as I feel kind of tired today”. No matter what the teacher said to SpongeBob, still he insisted that he can only talk about it tomorrow.
From now through the end of this season we are going to hear about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. He is set out to go to Jerusalem and he cannot wait for another day to do what He was called to. He cannot postpone anything to the next day like SpongeBob as tomorrow will have its own cares and worries to attend to. It is like home work. We got to do what we got to do today before we go to bed. Then sleep tight as we have done our job for this day.
In the 1960s movie “The Graduate” there is a scene where we see the then young Dustin Hoffman resting on a rubber raft in the pool. Seeing this, his father asks him, “what are you doing” he answers, “drifting. Just drifting”.
This is what we find in a lot of people today, just drifting along. Jesus was not drifting along. He was determined of his destination. Destination is the mission that he has to accomplish. It was a clear path laid out in front of him and he is following the call no matter what.
God’s call is always a mission we have to accomplish with diligence. It cannot be accomplished drifting along and postponing for an opportune time to come. The harvest is ripe. The time is now and that is what Jesus responds to in His life and that is what we are called to.
This is the characteristic of a leader, someone who is willing to respond to God’s grace now and with diligence. We are called to be leaders in the kingdom of God going against the current of the day and not drifting along. We are, just like Jesus in the wilderness, tempted to drift along.
Prophet Elisha, we read of in the first reading, realized that he cannot drift along in life as he was entrusted with a great responsibility. He could not have done what God called him to do alone and without the grace of God. Therefore he asks Elijah, Father, give me the double share of the Spirit. In other words give me twice the inheritance of grace of God that I may live my call to the fullness. It is the admission of the fact that he is unable to finish the job all alone.
We are all incapable people when it comes to fulfilling the mission God has entrusted to us. We cannot establish the kingdom of God alone. We need to travel along with and in the company of great men and women. We need the double share of their spirits to complete the work God has entrusted to us. Elisha asked for the right gift.
We all have all kinds of excuses to get out of what God has called to us to do. We might even let the Lord know that we cannot respond to God’s mission because someone or something is dead in our lives. Reasons are plenty not to respond to a call and they all might sound reasonable.
Call to discipleship is a hard thing to follow. Every other reason brought against God’s call is simply a way of drifting along without any passion for the mission of God.
I recently read this story of a college professor who filled a mason jar full of big rocks. He asks the students if the jar is full and they said yes. Of course he said no and pulled out a bag of gravel. By this time the students had learned that to his next question they better say No, the jar is not full. He continued and said that they are right. He then pulled out a bag of sand and then a pitcher of water. (From collected sermons – David E. Leininger)
If we hadn’t filled our jars with big rocks first, we would never get them in at all. If we fill our lives with all that are insignificant we will never have the place for God in it at the end of it. Prioritizing is so very important in Christian life. Until we do it, we won’t ever have Christ in our lives.
Discipleship is simply our ability to prioritize what is important and who is important. No more procrastinations and lay away. No more drifting. No more filling in with small stuff. Ask for a double of the share of the Spirit of God that we may have the courage to find what is important in life and live what is important in life.
I don’t need to say who is important. Who is the big Rock? Christ himself. Get Him in first and then we shall fill the rest with all the junk of life. After all when Christ is in first, all else will be found unimportant.
Discipleship is giving God what belongs to God.
(C) Fr. Jos Tharakan