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She was lonely. Karla was a nice enough person to be sure, but her awkwardness and loneliness could kind of overwhelm a person. She was a first-year student in my college dorm and had kind of alienated herself with her endless overtures of friendship. In truth, she was ostracized by the majority of students, who just didn’t want to take the time to deal with her. I was ashamed of how everyone treated her, and I tried to be kind, but my kindness was received with such joy that I could scarcely appear in public without her finding me. I, too, began to shy away from associating with Karla. I continued to be sympathetic to her plight, and told myself that I needed to make more of an effort, but never seemed to get around to it.
One Saturday morning, an ambulance came to the dorm, and word quickly got out that a student had died. It was Karla. She was an epileptic, and had evidently drowned in the bathtub, when she was overcome by a grand mal seizure. There would be no more time to make an effort. No more time to try to talk to Karla. No more time to “get around to it.” No more excuses….
In this weekend’s text, we hear of many people who hear Jesus call, but are pre-occupied by other interest or concerns or excuses, and find ways to say, “not yet” or “sure, but first…”. Responding to Christ’s call, to follow him, to do the right thing, needs to be attended to, right now!
This weekend, we’ll explore Jesus’ call to follow him, look at how we receive that call, making excuses more than anything; and finally, look at the immediacy of the call.