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One of my confrère’s brothers is a professional roofer. We asked him to supervise our roof job. On the first day he told me that we needed a dumpster because we are going to begin stripping the roof. called the dumpster company. “First thing tomorrow,” they informed me. I said that would not work. So, I Googled “Boston dumpster” and I got a long list of phone numbers. I called them all. None of them could honor my request. Some needed a twenty-four-hour notice. Some pointed out that it was the Fourth of July weekend and many dumpsters were already in service for the celebration cleanup. I reported the bad news to the supervisor, and he said to me, “I know I can get a dumpster here in one hour. Give me the phone book.” I admired his persistence, and I told him I would keep looking. Lo and behold, I did miss one: Doctor Dumpster. I heard of Doctor Lawn, Doctor Bicycle, Doctor Tree, but never a dumpster doctor. I called the doc, and he asked, “When do you want it?” I answered, “About a half hour ago.” He said, “I can be there in forty minutes.”
Did you ever have one of those days when you don’t seem to get anything done? Your calls go unanswered, or you go to get something, and they don’t have it, or you get home, and there is a missing part. Your day goes by, and you have nothing to show for it. I was not having one of those days! Not only did I get the dumpster just as we started, but we also stripped the entire backside of the roof and filled the dumpster. We even got the water and ice membrane on the roof. It was as if my hands were on fire as if they were magical. I never had such a productive day. All I did was follow someone who knew what he was doing. If we want to be productive, then we have to follow someone who knows what he is doing.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus calls Peter Satan. Why? A few months before after Jesus was in the desert for forty days, Satan is in front of Jesus telling Him what to do. What did Satan do to contribute to Creation? Did Satan ever help God fill one of the oceans with water? I don’t think so. Did Satan help out by creating one of the solar systems in the universe? Apparently not. Did he help construct the Himalayas? Nope. Did Satan even contribute a single fruit fly? Satan does nothing, and yet he stands before the Son of God telling him what to do. And so when Peter is standing in front of Jesus telling him what to do, Jesus calls him Satan. Jesus, however, was kind to Peter and gave him some very solid advice: “Get behind Me.” That is, if Peter gets behind Jesus, Peter is now in the perfect position to follow Him. Remember, you can be productive if you follow someone who knows what he is doing. Peter will get behind Jesus and follow him to Jerusalem. There he will be in the upper room when Jesus shows himself on the day of the Resurrection. Peter will be in Jerusalem forty days later at Pentecost and convert three thousand. Remember when Peter was thrown in prison for preaching Christ? In the middle of the night he wakes up, and all the doors of the prison are open. He just walks past the sleeping guard and leaves. Who can do that? Someone that follows the Lord.
When I was in high school, I worked for my dad on weekends and in the summer. We always went to the shop first. Dad would go to the office to take care of some of his chores such as call the lumberyard, payroll, go over blueprints. While he was busy in the office, I had plenty to do in the workshop. I would put away the tools, switch-out blades on the skill saw, or sweep the sawdust off the floor. At a certain point, dad would come out of the office and head for the truck. That was my cue. That was dad’s way of saying, “Let’s roll.” I would drop whatever I was doing and get in the truck. When Jesus picks up His cross, He will begin the long walk to Calvary. When Jesus picked up the cross, He didn’t intend to go the route alone. It was a gesture; it was Jesus’ way of saying to us, “Let’s roll.” Remember, Matthew the tax collector, was sitting at his table collecting taxes. Imagine having a job where you sit at a table, and people bring you money. It is the cushiest job you could ever have. Yet, when Jesus said, “Follow me,” he immediately left the table to follow Jesus. Why would he ever leave such a dream job? Because he is smart. And we would be smart to follow Christ because when you work for someone who knows what he is doing, we will have productive lives.