It’s part of my wiring. It’s how I’ve learned to navigate life. It’s something I’ve come to understand about myself.
I prefer to lead versus being led.
That’s not to say, I can’t be led or that I haven’t been led. It’s just my default is to be the one doing the leading. I tend to speak up and speak out and though that isn’t leadership, it can sometimes be confused for leadership and at the very least it serves to promote us speaker uppers/outers toward the places and spaces leaders are called.
This may explain why I generally consider myself a “dog person.” Once the relationship is established, dogs are fine being led. The pack mentality that has served them since the dawn of time drives them to fall in line; to follow their leader. They are good followers.
Cats are a completely different story.
Cats follow no one. Sure they may come when called, but it is a rare cat you see on a leash walking the neighborhood. While they may cooperate with others, their very nature tends toward the solitary and the individual. Cats just do their own thing. They can be led, but they’ll resist it as a general rule.
So here in this season of Lent, as we face a world-wide pandemic, I’m drawn to thinking about Jesus being led into the wilderness.
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.”Luke 4:1-2
Jesus was led.
I wonder if Jesus was led like a dog or like a cat? Did Jesus go willingly or did Jesus resist?
Maybe more to the point during this time of my own wilderness wandering, will I be willingly led or will I resist? Will I trust another (The Spirit) to lead me? After all, it doesn’t seem like entering the wilderness is the choice. The choice is will I be guided? Will I be shepherded? Will I be led?
The wilderness, literally and figuratively, is a place of danger and high-stakes. Being hungry and thirsty, let alone being “tempted by the devil,” is a matter of life and death. Maybe the real question is do I want to live? If so, I’ll need to follow one who knows the wilderness. I’ll need to be led by one who can navigate the danger.
Put this way, I’m not sure there is really much to consider. I can act like a cat and run around doing my own thing, and likely being lost in the wilderness. Or, I can be led as a dog is led; submitting to a master who can protect and provide for me.
Maybe also like dogs, I’ll find myself in a pack with others being led. Maybe when I get lost or lose sight of the leader, I can draw near to the others who are following and find my way again.
I don’t have anything against cats. That big orange monster in this post is one I get to love on (when he’s in the mood to be loved on). But, I ‘m thinking the dogs may be the better example to follow in the wilderness. Want to run together and find out?
Life is better together,