Friday, June 21, 2013

Writings from 2011: The Call of the Master

Being a Christian of the Latter-Day Saint variety, I have some comprehension of being in a religious majority and minority (especially considering a childhood spent in the Bible-belt). I am well aware that my system of beliefs are not held by all. At the same time, my beliefs are just as much a part of who I am and how I see the world as your beliefs influence you. It should be understandable, then, that some of my writings and observations are of a Christian nature.

Many years ago, I read a preview of a newly released film. The words painted a description of the first five minutes of the film which left quite an impression. So much so that I accepted a friend's invitation to see it with him, despite a migraine.

The movie, itself, is the third of its kind (and arguably the least favorite of the series), of a band of mastermind thieves. The movie was Oceans 13. I know, I know - how on earth did my mind find a Christian concept in a movie celebrating illegal activities?! I find it quite ironic and amusing myself and I remind you that the parallel occurred in the first five minutes.

The movie starts out showing an advanced robbery in progress, led by a member (Brad Pitt's character) of Danny Ocean's crew but not under his current employ. Just as this separate crew is finally breaking the vault, Pitt's character gets a call from Ocean saying he's reassembling the team. At the call of his leader, Pitt walks away from immediate treasure without a backward's glance.

Perhaps the parallel becomes more clear? A quick review of Peter's call to the discipleship would help. (See Matthew 4 and Luke 5.) A fisherman by trade, he'd had a rough night of it with no luck. Along comes a man, a teacher, the Messiah (though Peter did not know it yet). After borrowing use of his boat to preach, Jesus bade Peter to lower his nets. Despite having no success all night long, Peter did so and caught so many fish it threatened to capsize the boat. It was surely something of a small fortune to a laborer.

It was at that very moment that the Lord said unto Peter and his partners, James and John, "Come, follow me." "And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all (they straightway left their nets), and followed him." Luke 5:11 (Matt 4:20)

These demonstrations of loyalty to the Master, even when what you personally desire is at your fingertips, caused then and causes still a pondering of my own devotion to the Lord. Is my faith strong enough to forsake all, to leave my own desires behind in order to answer His call? Am I willing to walk away from my plans made to help someone else without resenting them for the need?

Odd as it is, such are the thoughts inspired every time I come across a reference to Oceans 13. And I am grateful for the lesson I found in the first five minutes.

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