I think of myself as an amateur when it comes to writing. I love writing more than anything on the planet and I know that it’s what God has called me to in this life. However, I know I’m still an amateur in every sense of the word when it comes to my writing and growing my craft. For my senior project in high school, I created a blog (originally for teenagers with disabilities- although it is still for that demographic, I realized even back then that God would continue to grow me in writing both as a craft and hobby). And now, here I am, almost seven years later after graduating- STILL WRITING. I know I still have a ways to go and I’ll never be perfect in my writing, but I’ve got some good news for you today- God doesn’t call us to be perfect, He calls us to obedience.
So… here I am…. Being obedient. Thanks God for being faithful and patient with me as I am setting out on this journey, yet again. The journey of surrendering EVERYTHING to you (even the amateurish tendencies behind my writing).
I think that’s why I admire the disciples so much- all of them, but specifically Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were the first brothers Jesus met on Lake Galilee, according to Matthew 4:18-20 in The Message translation:
“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.”
Matthew 4:18-20 MSG
What amazes me here the most is their willingness to follow Jesus without any question or second thought. Man, I wish I could say the same thing of myself- that I follow God immediately and without question. The truth, though, is the exact opposite. I want to know ALL THE DETAILS. For years, I have doubted my abilities in writing. The very same abilities God has so kindly and graciously bestowed upon my very life. Lord, forgive me. Take me out of the equation. It’s all for You and it’s always been You. I want to be like Simon and Andrew for the remainder of my life- to follow You anywhere, anytime and without question.
“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 MSG
I think this verse is very applicable to the seasons of our lives as well. That’s the beauty of where I am in life right now. I just need to be obedient with the tasks set before me right here, right now. Thanks to Annie F. Downs and her latest book, “That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being An Amateur, The Power Of Falling In Love, And Why You Need A Hobby,” I’m learning that we never really stop being amateurs because there is always something new to learn and something new God is trying to teach us through our obedience. I want Him to find me obedient to what He has called me to do. Obedience doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes or miss opportunities along the way, it means that I trust what God has gifted me with too much to let even another day pass without sharing this message anyone who reads it. This is where humility really shines. An amateur doesn’t want to be like everyone else with their passion, they just put themselves out there no matter what.
Simon and Andrew also displayed great humility in our Bible passage earlier. They didn’t care what their friends or family thought about them leaving their jobs to follow a man they hardly knew-again, I want to be more like them in my own life.
The same attitudes of willingness and humility that Simon and Andrew had also embraced James and John, the next pair of brothers Jesus encountered:
“A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.”
Matthew 4:21-22 MSG
I love these guys, too. They were READY. How quick am I to follow God in my everyday experience? Some days are better than others, but I would say more often than not, I’m slow to follow Him. That’s embarrassing to admit publicly, but I’m being honest, friends. I’m slow to follow Him because most of the time my questions or doubts are greater than my desire to step into the next phase of my calling. This was a painful realization to wake up to, but at the end of the day, I must surrender to Him and say: “Not my will, but Yours, be done!” (Luke 22:42)
“From there He went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan.”
Matthew 4:23-25 MSG
I love the ending of this passage. We get glimpses of Jesus and the guys in action. They didn’t just say they would follow Him, THEY LITERALLY FOLLOWED HIM! I guess this is why we’ve all heard the phrase: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’m not insinuating that our works save us, because our salvation is not dependent whatsoever on our works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but I am saying that the call of God on each of our lives should further motivate us to do something about it.
I’m learning to enjoy myself as an amateur and embrace where God has placed me for the time being. Not ten years from now or when I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, but RIGHT NOW. I hope you’ll ask God to do the same for you and join me on this journey. The journey of being an amateur.
© 2021 by Andrea Pierce. All rights reserved.