A post from several years ago about following Christ.
16Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Mark 1:16-20
When I was in college, I worked at a Baptist youth camp for four summers. It was a great and wonderful experience. I learned so much, about God, about life, about people, about myself. I made many friends and had a plethora of experiences that will stay with me for my lifetime. One of my bosses/mentors had a life philosophy based on part of this passage. He woke up each day asking what “Follow Me” meant that day. We used that to get us through the long hot miserable Oklahoma summers days. One day “Follow Me” might men leading a group of students through spiritual discussion. One day it might mean hammering rebar into wood to finish the work on the ropes course. Still another it might mean helping sponsors navigate through our ever changing registration process. Another day might necessitate it meaning resetting the same tent for the millionth time.
It was during those memorable days that I learned just how quixotic this journey of faithfully following Jesus and striving to leave His footprints can be. The straight and narrow path may be narrow but it is definitely not straight, rather it is filled with curves and twists and turns, and it is quite long and tiresome.
A few summers ago I was at a church in Bedford, Texas one Sunday evening. I was there to set up several inflatable games for a youth event they were having. During the course of the event they played the game capture the flag and asked me to participate. I wound up being on the same team as the youth minister and we were quick to capture the flag for our team. As he was holding it in the safe zone he motioned for me to follow him along a certain side of the church. He took off running and I was close on his heels, yet a few yards later he was way out in front of me and pulling even farther away. I tried to keep up, but he was much faster than me. (I later learned that he had run track throughout high school and college.) For a while I kept jogging then that turned into walking, and eventually I went back to the neutral zone by a different route, a much shorter one. We start out on fire for Christ and follow Him closely. Then things get hard, the journey gets difficult. We slow down to a jog, and then to a walk, then eventually we may set out on our own course.
I was not physically able to keep up with the youth minister that night. I was too slow. My muscles were not in as good as shape as his. Had I been using his legs I could have easily followed him. When we try to follow Christ on our own strength and our own power we quickly tire and are void of all energy and strength. We have to rely on Him to fill us and give us strength. How closely are you following Christ through the twists and turns of what “Follow Me” means today? I urge you to let Him supply the power for your footprints today.