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Leaving to follow Jesus

Jan 27, 2023

During staff devotions last Friday, Mr. Dossett mentioned that he had been watching the movie “The Chosen.” I had heard about it, but I tend to shy away from movies about Jesus because I don’t find them very realistic. Well, I took his advice, and I started watching it over the weekend. One of the things that the movie really helped me to better understand was how Jesus chose His disciples.

I always knew about the twelve that He invited to follow Him, and I even knew that some were fishermen, one was a zealot, and another was a tax collector. But this movie helped me to understand how difficult it was for these twelve men from such different backgrounds to trust each other or even to get along. I also never really thought about their families back home. Many were single men, but others had older parents to care for or even wives and children that they were leaving. I guess I never gave any thought to how their families reacted to their news that they were dropping everything to follow Jesus. This meant that they gave up their livelihoods. They could very well have been leaving their families without a source of income. Their wives sure would have had to believe in Jesus just as much as their husbands did to be willing to live alone without them.

Many of us here in the ICSV community have left our families and friends to live in a new land. We have students from almost 65 countries and staff from 19! Isn’t it amazing how we all happened to be in Vienna at the very same time? I don’t believe that’s an accident, at all. Coming from such varied backgrounds, I’m sure it’s not always easy to live together in unity. We tend to trust things and people that are familiar to us. What an amazing experience for us all, as we learn to trust and even love one another, even with all the differences.

Another thing that I thought about while watching the movie is that just like the disciples leaving their homes, we have done the same. Just as they missed spending time with family, worried about the wellbeing of their parents, and lost time with their children, we have done the same. I think the hardest thing for me being away for the last eight years is that my granddaughter was just one year old when we left. She is now nine. We’ve missed all of those milestones with her. I’m thankful that my daughter-in-law has family close by, but there are days when I am deeply saddened because of all that I’ve missed.

You know what makes it all worth it? Jesus told us to follow Him, so we did. For this season, He meant for us to come and serve here in Vienna. Had we not obeyed, but rather based our decisions on our own feelings, we would have missed out on being part of this amazing school community. When asked what I like most about Vienna, I always say the school. Our students are awesome, the staff is the absolute best, and our parents are a joy to partner with. Even on the days when we miss a birthday or Christmas with our kids and grandkids, we are confident that God chose us to be here for this season of our lives.

If you haven’t watched “The Chosen,” I encourage you to tune in. If you have questions about Jesus and His life, make the time to tune in. You might just have your eyes opened to some things that never made sense to you. I know that I’ve had many “a ha” moments while watching.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst. Director