Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you (v. 29).
My high school summers were all about community theatre. Producing three shows in three months meant lots of work and a shortage of workers. My friend Marguerite and I spent long days working on sets and costumes, returning nightly for rehearsals. Our gifted, intimidating, demanding director enthralled us. We found the work fun, but our eyes were set on a prize: playing the leads in the summer’s final show, The Boyfriend. This wasn’t implausible casting, but we had an attitude. We thought we’d earned these roles through our hours of labor. Unwilling to trust the director, I took matters into my own hands.
While painting a set I blurted, “We have it all figured out about how you should cast the show. Marguerite should play Polly and I should play Maisie.” Brash as this was, I expected the director to embrace my recommendation on the spot. Instead, she stopped working, looked me in the eye and said through tight lips, “Well. Thank you for sharing that. I will think about it.” I returned to work in mortified silence.
In the end, a newcomer landed the role of Polly, Marguerite was a radiant Maisie, and I played a chorus member with a show-stopping second act duet. It wasn’t the community theatre glory we aspired to, but we were clueless about the director’s vision. She, however, was wise to our particular gifts.
When I read this request from James and John, I cringe, vividly remembering that day in community theatre. Like me, the two disciples missed the point. Like me, they were put in their place. Like me, they were reminded that they had a lot to learn.
When have you overstepped because you were unwilling to trust God?
God, help me learn from the cringe-worthy moments in our relationship so that I will become the kind of disciple you need. Amen.