Maya Jain ‘17
When someone vows to follow Jesus anywhere he goes, Jesus immediately reminds them what a radical undertaking that is; it means forsaking all else. Others tell him that they need to take care of something else first before they can be his disciples, but again Jesus underlines that nothing is more important than responding to his call.
For the past three years, I wanted to be a Resident Assistant in my dorm. RAs embodied qualities I admired—they were strong, hospitable leaders who served and empowered others. Certainly following Christ for me meant fulfilling such a ministerial role, right?
When I wasn’t chosen for the position, I was crushed. So much of my self-image had been bound up in this aspiration! I had been so preoccupied with the idea of my ministering to others as an RA that I couldn’t see that first and foremost comes discipleship. In the face of Jesus’s call, I had been telling him, “I’ll follow you anywhere, but first let me realize my ambitions.” And following Christ simply does not allow for that.
God’s will for our discipleship is often different than what we have in mind. I’m not an RA, but I can serve God by being a confidante and pillar of support for my friends, a liturgical musician, and an RCIA sponsor. That kind of discipleship doesn’t come with a badge and a hall staff polo shirt, but it is where God has called me.
Jesus’ followers became ministers and leaders only by being disciples first. Ambition didn’t lead me closer to God, but humbly accepting my place as Jesus’ disciple will. May we have the faith to authentically say with every ounce of our being, “Jesus, I will be your disciple; I will follow you wherever you go.”