Two Voices

February 19th, 2016 Posted in writing

Two voices speak to us over the span of centuries, one offering a piece of advice, the other an invitation. The first voice belongs to Socrates, one of the most influential philosophers who ever lived. From his city of Athens, he told people, “Know Yourself.” Know what you know and, paradoxically, also know what you do not know. If you can’t do that, then real wisdom will always elude you. His words clearly offer a challenge to those who take them seriously.

The second voice, from a few centuries later, belongs to Jesus who, speaking one day to fishermen in their boat, simply said, “Follow Me.” They did, and they went from catching fish to netting people. Jesus’ words expressed his invitation to be in a very close personal relationship with him. It’s an invitation that is warmer and more intimate than Socrates’ “Know Yourself.” It is also an invitation to us, in which Jesus asks for our loyalty, our trust and our love.

This Lent I hope to practice starting each day taking a moment to think about Jesus’ saying to me, “Follow me!” He may lead me to places where I feel at home and to be with people I like, but he could also call me to situations that make me uneasy or to keep company with people I’d prefer to avoid. Jesus asks me to let him pick the destination and the road. My job is to follow him. And, at the end of the day, I can reflect on where Jesus led me and what gift awaited me there.

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