Follow [1Word5Voices]

followMost of my life I have been encouraged to be a leader.

I’ve been coached, trained, schooled, and mentored. I’ve been groomed, prepared, tested, and elected.

My identity, my sense of self, revolves around being a leader – at home, at church, in groups I participate in. The desire to lead, the expectation to lead, the ability to lead (at least my perceived ability), are so much a part of me, I could say they define most of my interactions with others.

So what do I do with a God who walks among us and says, “Follow me”?

What’s a leader supposed do when they are called to follow? I’ll tell you what I’ve done…I’ve tried leading others to follow by telling them how.

“Here’s how you follow Jesus.”

“Here’s what followers look like and act like.”

“Here’s Jesus. You should do what he does.”

In other words, I’ve missed or forgotten or simply chosen to ignore the truth, real leaders are followers, not just people who tell others how to follow. The question we need to ask before following a leader is “who does the leader follow?”

It’s the question I’m wrestling with today. Can people look at my life and conclude, “That dude follows Christ!”

I fear the answer more often than not, is less than a resounding yes.

And isn’t that the great thing about Lent? We get to wrestle (I’ve been doing a lot of wrestling lately), with who we are and who we are becoming. We get to look in the mirror and shine light into the dark places. We get to expose the pieces we hide from the world and from ourselves. And we get to decide what to do with all of it.

I’m hopeful such examination will help me learn to be a better follower of Jesus. I’m hopeful I’ll begin or begin again to see my leadership as a demonstration of followership. I’m hopeful I’ll put on Jesus’ sandals (or Chuck’s) and walk in his ways, not just talk about his ways.

Who do you follow? How can we tell?

Life is better together,
Shawn

Check out what a few of my friends taking this journey with me think of this word…

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