When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him . . . “What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” // John 21:22
“Eyes on your own paper . . . .”
I can still hear her voice years later: our fifth grade teaching aide patrolling rows of desks, lovingly warning our class against the temptation to search elsewhere for an answer.
I haven’t taken a graded test in quite a while, but I’ve learned that I’m still being tested every day. It happens at work, in ministry, in my vocation: the temptation to look around at how everyone else is doing—just to compare answers—only to conclude that my accomplishments, faith journey, and approach to vocation are by contrast quite inadequate.
I imagine you can relate.
You might feel your work is a failure compared with others’ success, or divert your day to jump on a social media bandwagon lest it seem your voice is missing. You might feel pressured to copy another’s trumpeted approach to school, work, prayer, or raising a family. You might observe someone’s vocation or faith timeline and assume you’re late to the game.
Saint Peter was also tempted to look around in comparison—just moments after he’d received Christ’s life-changing call to be the first pope and give his life for the Church. “What about him . . . ?” Saint Peter asks when he sees Saint John in the distance.
“What concern is it of yours?” Jesus redirects. “You follow Me.”
Just like Peter, the key is to honestly bring our feelings to Jesus and let Him draw our attention back to our personal mission and relationship with Him.
Eyes on your own paper, daughter.
What if I gave you different gifts or a different reach? You follow Me.
What if My plan and your timeline differ from hers? You follow Me.
What if our relationship is unique, our experiences different? You follow Me.
What if the future is unknown? I Am your future. Follow Me.
In every circumstance, there is only one answer: Jesus.
He’s the only Person we need to look to, and the only answer we need to look for—no matter what.
What is Christ inviting you to shift your eyes from today so you can look to Him as the answer—and freely follow?In every circumstance, there is only one answer: Jesus. // Megan Hjelmstad Click To Tweet