I had an appointment with one of my many doctors Tuesday, and my wife tagged along for she had some important information she wished to share with the doctor. While I was driving, Tammy asked me if I knew anything about Pokémon Go. Nope, I had never heard of such a thing, and neither had Tam. She looked up the Wikipedia page on her iPhone and began reading the information aloud. I must confess that Tammy and I were laughing all the way to the medical building—we found it both preposterous and quite amusing that adults would spend their time playing such a game.
Well, not everyone finds it preposterous, for many adults are playing this latest fad. Some of those adults are finding themselves trespassing and facing arrest—the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, a secure government facility not far from where I live, has promised to prosecute trespassers and even made a veiled threat about the use of lethal force if necessary. Steven Cary, a player in New York, crashed his car into a tree and broke his ankle while trying to capture a Pokémon. I must ask, “Seriously, who does this?”
People are trying to capture Pokémon characters using the GPS on their mobile devices, but does anyone take following Jesus that seriously? Folks are walking out into traffic, trespassing, and slamming their cars into trees; at that moment, nothing matters more than finding and capturing a Pokémon. At any moment, does following Jesus matter that much to us?
Jesus says: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). Nothing is to matter more than following Jesus—not our families and not even our own lives. Following Jesus must be the greatest concern in our lives.
When Jesus called Andrew and Simon, “immediately they left their nets and followed him” (Mark 1:18). No deliberation. No thinking. No checking the GPS on their smart phone to capture some cartoonish fantasy. They left everything then and there to follow Jesus.
Jesus calls you to that same discipleship. Leave everything today and follow Jesus.
PS: If you have nothing better to do with your time than play Pokémon Go, please, please be safe!