“I Have Decided…”

followjesus1According to my Monday afternoon tradition, I finished up planning our Bible study for our residents just a little bit ago.

One of my preparatory activities included getting song lyrics ready; I like to incorporate spiritual songs into the weekly lessons.

I know it’s outdated, but we received an overhead projector several months back.  Some of our residents have really found it helpful as I can display the citations and page numbers for the scripture readings they are to look up.

I’ve also discovered that song lyrics can be neatly projected there also, which works very well.  Our residents are even learning new songs. Our copy machine/printer has the capacity to print on transparencies, so I made a new one this afternoon with some songs I want to be able to use again and again.

One of these is: “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  We have actually used it a couple of times in recent weeks, as the gospel readings have gone well with it.  I thought it would make it easier and encourage participation if I printing the lyrics for everyone to see plainly.

In preparing this article, I did a little research about this folk-song, making discoveries I never imagined.  I learned that the words were from an Indian (Asian) Christian as he was dying for his faith in the mid-1800s.  This knowledge certainly adds to the potency of the song which I learned back in high school when helping with religious ed.

I think the message and proclamations contained here are powerful today:

I have decided to follow Jesus (3x)…
no turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, I still will follow…
no turning back, no turning back.

My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus…
no turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me…
no turning back, no turning back. (Taken from hymnary.org)

These simple words inspire and convict me.

How faithful am I to my commitment to Jesus?  Have I done what He asks, regardless of anything else, including my own desires?

We have have moments in our life in which we “decided to follow Jesus:” at our baptism (via our godparents), confirmation, and maybe at other special moments in our lives.  As religious, the moment of our profession of vows also comes to mind.  What continues to be important, along with these crucial moments, is that we decide to follow Jesus at every moment.

It can be easy to do what I want to do, even if it is not what I may be called to at a given moment.  However, I don’t want to follow myself.   I want to follow Jesus, day by day, regardless of the cost.

For me, following Jesus is sometimes as simple as looking up from my work to smile at a passing resident.  It might be denying myself the gratification of giving in to some needless curiosity.

I pray for forgiveness for those times I have failed.

I also pray for the grace to be more faithful to this commitment implicit in the name of ‘Christian’ and in my own given name: for the grace to truly be a faithful follower of Christ.

Sr. Christina M. Neumann

3 thoughts on ““I Have Decided…”

  1. I read all of your “Posts”, you are doing an excellent work ,expressing and explaining Gods Word.. Even st 99 ,there is always an explanation I hadn’t considered,a different point of view..


    Sent from my iPad



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