Maybe it didn't bother Andrew, being the left-out brother among the four, with Simon Peter, James, and John always running off with Jesus to do secret, special things that no one else got to do with them, having stories to tell that no one else got to carry, seeing things that no one else got to see.
If that's the case, then I think we have a lot to learn from Andrew's contentment.
It's a problem for most of us, really. We want to be privy to all the things. We want to see everything we can possibly see, hear everything we can possibly hear, know everything we can possibly know. Especially when it comes to Jesus. If, after all, He is going to call us to follow Him, then we ought to be as far on the inside of His ministry as we can get. Oughtn't we?
We just assume that if Jesus really wants us to do something, He'll tell us everything about it. That if He really wants us to know something, He'll shows us everything about it. That if He really wants us to say something, He'll give us cue cards with all the words. That if, as Jesus says, He wants us to be part of what He's doing in the world, He'll make us a big part of it, a full part of it, part of every little thing so that we know with great fullness exactly what it is that we're getting into.
But if you've been around long enough (which isn't very long at all), you know that this is not the way that Jesus works. It's just not the reality for most of us. Very few of us ever get to know everything. Very few of us ever get to have all the assurance in the world. Very few of us ever come to the place where we feel like we're among the three.
Most of us spend our Christian walk feeling more like Andrew - called, but kind of left behind. Called, but kind of kept in the dark. Called, but....
It's here that I can't help but wonder if being called was enough for Andrew. Really. If he was so confident and content in knowing that when Jesus was putting together His team, he got to be on it, and it didn't matter to him whether he was playing on the A-string or the B-string. If he was just so glad to be a part of any of it that it didn't phase him to think that there were parts of it that didn't include him. If, when Andrew looked around his life, he didn't notice that Simon Peter, James, and John were missing, but knew acutely that Jesus was near.
Man, how I aspire to live like that. What would it change in our faith if we could all live a little more like that?
Because the truth is that this is our story. We feel like Andrew because we are Andrew. We are persons called by God to be part of this incredible journey He's on, to be near to Him as He lives and loves among us, to be His hands and feet and carry with us the authority He's given us to do exactly as He's called. And there are always around us persons who seem to get to do more, see more, hear more, be more in His Kingdom.
But if you sit back and really look at it, if you pull yourself back and really think about it, isn't it enough? Isn't it enough that we get to be part of it at all? Isn't it enough that when Jesus was putting together His team, He chose you to be part of it? Maybe you don't think you play on the A-string, but maybe you'd be surprised. After all, even Andrew was sent out among the 72, even Andrew broke bread at the Last Supper, even Andrew was present when the risen Lord appeared. He was there. He was part of it all. He gets to be one who tells the story of this incredible Son of God, this Jesus.
We get to tell that story, too. We're part of it all. We have our own little missions to go on, our own roles to play, but we're all called right into the thick of it. We're called to be there, to be present, to witness. To go out among the 72, to break bread, to heal, to cast out demons, to tell the world what we know. And what do we know?
We know Jesus. Because He chose us.
Maybe it didn't bother Andrew, not being there for all of the things that his brother got to see. Really. Maybe it was enough for him to see all the things he was there for and to know that he got to be part of something really special, something amazing that God was doing in the world...in the flesh...right before his very eyes.
Maybe it's enough for us.