Last Sunday, I was working in my garage, giving a final sanding to a cabinet that I had crafted for my parents’ bathroom. I think a lot of wood smiths would aspire to create marvelous pieces of fine furniture and cabinetry to be displayed in places of prestige. I am no exception…and this piece…will go directly above a “throne”…what do you think of that? Huh? As I was working, my wife…remember she is the one from Detroit area?...poked her head in and warned me of a coming phone call. Apparently, I had been volunteered to help move a piano for the neighbor. I was quickly beside myself with excitement. (Notice how I did not use an exclamation point on that previous sentence…yeah…that was intentional). Don’t get me wrong…I love pianos…but I am convinced that they have been created so heavy for a reason…so that they stay in place. When Sarah gave me the news, I affirmed to myself…”I can do this…it’s just one piano….up 7 steps…across icy sidewalks…up a ramp and into a trailer…no problem.”
Sure enough, the call comes about 30 minutes later…they are ready for my help. I recruit my son to come along and lend a hand as well. As we arrive, I am quickly informed that there are two pianos…one will come out…and one will go back in. Ok then.
Truth be told…it went pretty easily. We had two strapping young men…myself and my neighbor…he is almost a full month older than I am, two pre-teen boys, and my neighbor’s wife…who’s age will remain unstated…it’s risky enough for me to be writing this in the first place. After the first piano was removed from the dwelling….my son…mysteriously disappeared…I hope he did not get trapped under or inside the piano…though if he did, it would serve him right for not helping with the second one. Even with my son’s absence…we had nearly no trouble with the second piano either. I cannot deny that my back was a little tight…and that when you drop a piano on your foot, it does cause some pain…but not enough that I couldn’t limp home afterward.
In each of the Gospel writings of the Bible, we see Jesus make the “call.” His call is vastly different than the call I received from my neighbor…but it’s a call just the same. We read in the Gospel accounts of these calls, how in most cases, Jesus approached the men and “called” them by saying “follow me.” In most of these circumstances, the men dropped what they were doing…and they followed Jesus. When these men chose to follow Christ, their lives would never be the same. They would experience many hardships while following Christ…much harder than hauling a piano, or even dropping one on your foot. Yet, there is a promise of reward. John 1:50-51 gives us just a glimpse of the reward that was promised to his disciples…and we see in passages in Mark 10 and Matthew 19 and Revelation 21…promises of rewards a hundred time greater than anything we can experience here on earth…including a beautiful picture of how death, dying and crying will be no more…a time when pain will be wiped away. It all starts with answering the call. 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” He has given us…you…and me…the call…but it’s up to us…will we answer? It may mean that we may need to experience hardships…but there is a promise on the other side.