Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Left Behind Disciple

Every time I read about a specific, named group of disciples who did something with Jesus, I wonder about the others.  Did they feel left out?  Were they off doing other important activities, and thus missed some events, like the Transfiguration?  Did they have family commitments?  Did their jobs keep them away?

I know that we think of the 12 disciples as already having a full-time job:  following Jesus.  But I wonder if we're wrong.  I've read some theologians who speculate that the disciples, far from being poor and rag tag, might have been closer to middle class, with thriving fishing businesses and the like.

We think that the disciples abandoned their families, but I'm not sure that's true.  After all, Simon Peter had a mother-in-law; we know that because Jesus healed her fever.  I wouldn't expect this story if Simon Peter was estranged from them.

I have the left out disciples on the brain because for the next 4 days, I will be feeling left out.  One of my tribes is meeting on the mountain for the Create in Me retreat; I can't go because next week is our accreditation visit.  The retreat is 12 hours away (even if I went by plane, the travel would take at least 8 hours, in terms of getting to airports early, waiting on connecting flights and/or renting a car at the other end); I can't zip up for an afternoon the way some have in the past when they couldn't come for the whole retreat.

I've missed the retreat once before, in 2015 when my whole family went on a vacation to Hawaii.  I didn't feel left out then.  I feel a bit left out this year.

And what's present this year that wasn't in 2015:  the fear that I will never make it back to this retreat.  I'm at a very small campus, and it's hard to get away in a way that it wasn't at my old school. The retreat moves, which makes it even harder to know the future--the retreat is always the week-end after Easter, because the retreat can have the whole camp.  That's great for the retreat, but it means that the retreat will sometimes fall during a week where it's more difficult to get away--the week before Spring quarter begins, for example, which is an all-hands-on-deck time on my small campus.

But I'm trying to stay in this current moment and let the future take care of itself.  A year ago, I wouldn't have forecast my current life.  It's hard to know what next year will truly be like or the year after that.

I have planned some fun stuff for the week-end; I'll be with local friends here.  I'll do some creative stuff on my own.  I'll pray for my tribe on the mountain, and I'll hope that they pray for me.

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