Mark 1:14-20 (NRSV)
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
15and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
When I was a kid in church, I knew something weird was going on. I would hear the reading from the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, with the word “immediately” repeated over and over. I thought I could figure out my own timing for taking God seriously, for being a pastor, for a lot of things.
I responded to God’s call for all those things with my timing and found myself with a wife, children, home, and job—all of them wonderful callings from God, but still with no trace of God’s “immediately.” Then one night our friend across the street came home from a sales meeting. He was inspired! He knocked out a dining room wall and installed French doors the next day. When I asked him why, he responded with conviction and said, “I knew it was time.” What would life be like if I could hear God’s “immediately” and knock down some walls?
“Now,” you say, God. Your call to me is not for later, or for half measures. You’re not after my calendar, God, you’re after my heart. Take it. Right now. Amen.