Do you ever feel unqualified?
Do you ever feel unqualified? Have you felt like you’re in over your head? Like you just don’t have the skills or tools for the task at hand? Each of the readings this weekend presents us with someone who considers himself inadequate for the job.
In the first reading, Isaiah says, “Woe is me, I am doomed!” He has seen the glory of God, yet knows his own faults. We can infer that he wants to share the vision he has had, but clearly he does not feel qualified to do so. What can a man of unclean lips tell people of unclean lips?
Paul in the second reading says, “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” He has acquired a position and title that he feels is more than he should be allowed to do because of his past actions. Unlike Isaiah’s lack of confidence in his skills, Paul’s unqualified feeling comes from having skeletons in his closet. Why would people listen to him now when he proclaimed an opposite viewpoint previously?
Finally, in the Gospel, Simon responds to Jesus’ request, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” He later continues, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Simon demonstrates no doubts in his ability to fish or concerns about his past as a fisherman. His feeling of inadequacy comes from sharing in the abundant blessings of Jesus.
While I often hear excuses like those of Isaiah and Paul when I ask people about joining music ministry, I believe more people use Simon’s excuse. They believe they are unqualified to participate because they see a group that seems far above whatever they might have to offer. I would be leery of taking up fishing if all I saw was the magnificent catch prompted by Jesus.
Rather than using Simon’s excuse, can we adopt Simon’s attitude towards the request? Can we say yes and let Jesus deliver the results? Even a little skill can be magnified when placed in the service of the Lord. How can you serve today?