Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bahamian Blogging #1: Learning to follow

My cousin and her friends picked us up from the airport and announced we were taking a field trip. It had been a short night followed by a much longer day already. What I wanted most was to sit still a bit under a palm tree with a book. How silly! It turned out to be a wonderful field trip!

Our first stop was the health food store. Frankly, I was surprised. A trip to the health food store was not what I expected on this trip to the Bahamas, but what it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! One of my new-found friends bought vegan fudge bars and handed them out. What better way to start an island vacation than with ice cream? I began to relax. Maybe this field trip business wasn't so bad after all!

The store was just like those at home except for one thing. Neatly stacked on the check out counter were scraps of paper with carefully printed words of wisdom. I was intrigued and wanted all of them, but asked the lady behind the counter if I could have just one. She smiled broadly and assured me that I could. It was obviously her plan all along. The one that caught my eye said:

"You must always remember that to lead, one must first learn to follow, and you must obey the rules and regulations by which your conduct is to be governed."

Knowing the rules and following them is the reason behind why we study Scripture, but, of course, you already know that. It's the first part that caught my eye. To be a leader, you must be a follower. Correction, to be a good leader, you must first be a good follower. The trick in following is knowing who to follow, isn't it?  

There are plenty of verses about following Jesus. The first that comes to mind directs us to take up our cross and follow Him, but the one that draws me to follow is this one:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; (John 10:27 NASB)

Following the Shepherd whose voice I know sounds like the sweetest kind of following of all. On this beautiful Sunday morning in this island paradise, I am pausing to consider the quality of my following.  If I must lead, and it seems unavoidable, then my following must be of the highest quality. 

Today, join me in evaluating your own following and pray that we, and our loved ones, would not only follow our Shepherd's voice but keep close to the One on whose tender care we depend.