Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Second Call (Markos 1)

Mar 1:16 İsa, Celile Gölü'nün kıyısından geçerken, göle ağ atmakta olan Simun ile kardeşi Andreas'ı gördü. Bu adamlar balıkçıydı.
Mar 1:17 İsa onlara, "Ardımdan gelin" dedi, "Sizleri insan tutan balıkçılar yapacağım."
There are a lot of words to enjoy in these few sentences!
  • göl -- lake. Celile Gölü'nün -- sea of Galilee.
  • -- net. ağ atmak -- to cast a net.
  • balık -- fish. balıkçı -- fisherman. Note the -çı suffix. It's the "agent ending," like the -er in the English words baker or painter.
Folks, it's my third trip through İncil, and it's finally starting to be fun. Enough vocabulary has lodged in my cranium so that I can actually read chunks of İncil, instead of just struggling through Turkish. And sometimes, still, when I need to look up a few words, the effort brings a familiar story into a vivid, sharp, focus.

Try this sentence, for example:
Mar 1:35 Sabah çok erkenden, ortalık henüz ağarmadan İsa kalktı, evden çıkıp ıssız bir yere gitti, orada dua etmeye başladı.
And the words:
  • Sabah çok erkenden, -- Morning very early
  • ortalık henüz ağarmadan -- surroundings not yet had turned gray
  • İsa kalktı, -- Jesus got up,
  • evden çıkıp -- the house left
  • ıssız bir yere gitti -- waterless a place went to
  • orada dua etmeye başladı-- there prayer began
So much to reflect upon in this brief chapter! We could note how Jesus always seemed to have a convenient desert to retreat to. Apparently, the sown areas of Palestine had an ongoing battle with the encroaching wild parts. Biosphere II, an adventure described as "The Three Stooges Meets Star Trek," failed because the makers assumed that nature is normative, rather than fallen. They insisted on including a desert in their sealed environment, which soaked up oxygen from the atmosphere. At one point, they had to sneak in another 20 tons or so of the vital gas!

What most forcibly impressed me, though, was the "double call." The first chapter of John's gospel introduces us to the characters we meet in this chapter, perhaps several years earlier. These rugged fishermen knew who Jesus was, and knew that He had a mission to achieve. For some time now, I imagine, they had been "waiting for the other shoe to drop." Big parties in those days took a long time to prepare. So the host would send out a general invitation -- "be ready in the next week or so." When all things were ready, another invitation would go out -- "Come and get it before we throw it away!"

Most of us have a vague sense that we are destined for greatness. We have a notion that there is a reason for our time on this planet. This presents us with a dilemma: do we coast while awaiting the second call? Or do we prepare ourselves for it? I've had several very painful experiences that resulted from answered prayer that I was unprepared to profit from. The lazy man assumes that he has more time than is actually the case. In reality, we never have quite as much time as we had counted on.

For example: my written exams exposed an embarrassing lack of mastery in the area of theory. SO when I prepared for my orals a few weeks later, I consecrated the Saturday before to really nailing down my factoids in the area of theory.

Then, I got laid off on Friday, and was too upset to really study the rest of the weekend. The following Monday's conversation was very unpleasant in places.

I hope someday to work, perhaps teach, in Turkey. Hence, my daily work with the Turkish language. When my opportunity presents itself, I yearn to be ready.

Which reminds me -- I'd probably be wise to wind up my dissertation as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

dori said...

"a vague feeling that we are called to greatness." How true!

For me, having the discipline and motivation to be obedient to God's call is a constant struggle. But, I'm very thankful that my work is something that I really enjoy doing, after I can get over the "hindrances and sin that so easily entangles."

Keep running the race! Just check out all the progress you've made in the last 5 years toward your dreams.