In the 5th chapter of Luke, Jesus commands Simon Peter to push his fishing boat out into the water. Peter complies for that was a simple thing and Jesus preaches to the crowd on the shore from the boat.
However, Jesus then tells him to go further out , roll up your sleeves a bit more, take a risk and cast your net in order to catch some fish. I can imagine Peter shaking his head slightly and perhaps even hiding a smile. Those landlubbers! They know nothing about fishing.
Peter decides to humor Jesus. He carefully explains that they, the knowledgeable and experienced fishermen had been doing just that all night long and had caught nothing. The conditions simply were not right. Another time would be better perhaps but not right now.
At that point in the story, I would have expected Peter to walk away. Peter has become notorious for doing the wrong thing at times but when you get right down to it, though he was prone to blunders like all of us are, he managed to get the most important things right in the end. This was one of those times. Despite his doubts, despite the belief that this was a foolish mission that would end in defeat, Peter tells Jesus that he will do what he says. He takes the boat deeper and the nets are cast.
The nets could not contain the fish. They began to tear and Peter and Andrew had to call out to their partners James and John to come and help them. Soon both boats were filled with fish and in fact, were on the verge of sinking.
That was enough for these fishermen. Luke tells us that as soon as they came ashore, they immediately left everything and followed Jesus.
I know a couple from our church who moved to Africa a few years ago. The husband had a well-paying job and an excellent reputation in his field of work. They had a beautiful home and a young family. Then God called them to go out deeper. The husband quit his job. They sold their home, got rid of their "stuff" and moved to Africa where they are now running an orphanage. I know another family that is about to move to Morocco. Another young woman I know just left this past week for a three year stint in Swaziland. She gave up everything and raised funds in obedience to God's call.
This is what we often think of when we think about "giving up everything to follow Jesus" but it is more than that. While some may be required to sell all that they have and move halfway around the world, others of us are called to remain right where we are and work the mission field right within our own home or right outside our door. We may not be switching jobs or relocating but the call is still the same, " Leave all behind and follow Me."
The question we must all answer is this: Are we willing to take a risk, be obedient and follow Jesus wherever he may lead us whether it makes sense to us or not?