There is presently a popular series of beer commercials where unsuspecting individuals purchase a bottle of said beer and are swept away into an adventure of a lifetime (or what passes for one in a beer commercial). It is assumed that because an individual is purchasing this particular beer, he or she must be "up for whatever." Meaning, he or she is game for whatever happens next. However weird or crazy that may be.
Every time I see one of these commercials, I can't help but think about twelve other guys who must have been up for whatever. I'm thinking about guys who were living their regular lives, doing their regular things, working their regular jobs, when some other Dude (and you have to capitalize "Dude" here) walks up to them and says, "C'mon! Let's go!" And these guys...go.
It's easy for us to lose sight of what really happened here. It's easy for us to say, "Of course everyone wants to follow Jesus. If He asks, you go. No questions asked." But this wasn't really Jesus who was doing the asking. This was the beginning of His ministry; we don't know how much of a name He even had yet, but it was nothing compared to the name of Jesus we have become attached to. This was just a Guy from Nazareth. This was the carpenter's son. This was a scraggly-haired, dirty-footed Jew that nobody really knew, at the time, what He was up to. These were fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot.... One Guy looks at another and says, "C'mon! Let's go!" And these guys...go.
They must have been up for whatever.
They had to be. The adventure they were about to take was like nothing they could have imagined at the time. They didn't have the faintest idea what it would mean to really follow this Guy. To go where He went. To live the way He lived. To do the things He was doing. They didn't know what it would mean to give up their livelihoods and truly live. They didn't know what it would mean to leave home and have no place to lay their heads. They didn't know what it would mean to live as citizens in a spiritual realm - where demons are being cast out, where good is defeating evil, where God and Satan clash in front of their very eyes. They didn't know what it would mean to trust in the Teacher while the Pharisees stood watching. They didn't know what it would mean to stand in the shadow of the Cross or how powerful an empty grave could be.
And they went anyway. They had no idea what the next steps would hold for them, but they took the first steps in faith and followed a Guy they had probably barely heard of, a Guy without a reputation, a Guy they'd just met. All because He told them to.
And it's not even really like they had to. The jobs that these guys left were not minimum-wage jobs. Simon and Andrew, James and John, from all we know, were very successful fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector; the right lines, and he could have all the money he wanted. Simon was a zealot; at the very least, he had a reputation for that. Judas may have been something like an actuary, since we know he was put in charge of the disciples' books. None of these guys were flipping burgers. None of these guys were running cash registers. These were relatively successful guys. They just...wanted more.
I'm not saying that it's not cool to buy a beer and suddenly discover that you're Pacman in a life-sized video game. That's ridiculously cool, and I'm kind of jealous of that guy. But what's cooler still is to buy into the Living Word and discover that you're part of an incredible story. It's a Living Word that beckons, "C'mon! Let's go!"
The question is, then: are you up for whatever?