But if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need! I love The Rolling Stones, don’t you?
Before the Lenten season began I binge watched (over three weekends) Call the Midwife on Netflix. I really like the show, it’s about a group of nun and nurse midwives serving in the east end of London in the late 50’s. I’ve included the link if you wish to read more about the show.
At this point Netflix only carries the first three seasons. The season 3 finale was very poignant, and a reminder that what we choose and where we are called will not always be accepted by everyone. Chummy, one of the nurses has a difficult relationship with her mother. It seems to me that they have never been particularly close, but this distance between her and her mother is intensified by Chummy’s decision to work as a midwife in the east end, and her choice to marry Constable Noakes. In this episode, Chummy however must deal with her mother’s terminal illness and it is difficult. Yet, there is some healing that happens in the relationship due to some nudging by Sister Monica Joan whose own experience resembles that of Chummy. Sister Monica Joan has been shunned by her family for her, at the time, radical decision to become a nun and midwife.
It seems strange that people who choose callings such as the characters in this show, should be rebuked for their calling especially when it seems so noble. I can’t imagine not having the support of my own family in obeying my calling. But in some families support is not given. Perhaps it is simply because we all have hopes and dreams not only for ourselves, but for the people we love as well. When those dreams are not met in the way that we expect then it can be hard for us to accept the alternative, as good as it might be. We can’t always get what we want.
In Mark 8:31-38 Jesus let’s his followers in on a little secret; he informs them that his life is going to be marked with suffering and death. Mark records him as saying this quite openly. This is not the outcome that the Jewish people who had been waiting and hoping for a Messiah who was going to rescue them from oppression and from the Roman rule, yet here is Jesus saying that the Son of Man will suffer and die. Peter expresses his opinion on the matter and rebukes Jesus for saying such things. Jesus however tells Peter (after calling him Satan?) that he is setting his mind on earthly things instead of heavenly things.
The kingdom of God is not like what many expect it to be. Some will be disappointed in the call, others will be aggressive toward those who heed the call, and yet still many choose to walk in the way of the kingdom because though it calls for sacrifice it also leads us in the way everlasting.
Oh you can’t always get what you want, but indeed you will get what you need.