And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. (Luke 5:28 NASB)
When Levi (Matthew) left everything and got up, he did a very hard thing. He followed. He followed Jesus. Matthew was a wealthy man and Jesus was a traveling teacher. To all appearances, Jesus was not wealthy or a part of the Sanhedrin. He didn't have the social standing that would make Him important. He appeared to be the least likely one for Matthew to follow, but follow is what he did.
The thing about following is that it puts you behind. You aren't in the front or leading. You aren't the one making the decisions or deciding the direction to head. You are doing what someone else decides, living the way they live. That kind of total surrender and submission is not popular in our culture. We want to "be all you can be", to lead, to be the master of our own fate. That attitude, however, is neither following nor is it discipleship. Total submission, total surrender, total commitment to doing things the way Christ would do them is what following Jesus means.
Matthew had spent years telling people to hand over whatever sum of money he wanted, with armed guards at hand to enforce his decision. When he left everything behind, he also left his right to command and became a follower.
That's the kind of follower we need to be, too. We are called to walk away from our right to choose and submit to Christ's right to choose for us. We relinquish our ways and choose His.
Today, ask yourself, "what kind of follower am I?" Pray that we and our loved ones will leave our "right" to be in charge behind and simply follow Jesus.