Have you ever tried to follow someone when you were walking in front of them? Maybe at the doctor or dentist office…they nurse lets you though the door to hallway that leads to the patient rooms. You find yourself trying to follow her yet she is behind you? It can be quite challenging trying to follow from lead position when you have to keep looking back for directions.
Our family dog…a beautiful, German Shepard named Enzo seems to favor following me over anyone else in the household. If I get up…he gets up. If I sit down…he sits down. If I walk into the other room….well I think you get it…he walks into the other room. Enzo’s self-assigned job is to protect and watch over me. While I am honored that my dog thinks so much of me…it does have it’s challenges.
Because of Enzo’s strong desire to protect me he tends to want to walk in front of me. However, he has no idea where I am going so he should be following me. Inevitably he ends up following me in the lead position. This causes constants collisions between the both of us mostly due to his hesitation and having to looking back to me for direction. Watching him and feeling the frustration of stumbling over him multiple times on the way to the trash can has taught me a few lessons about following from lead position.
In order to truly follow someone the follower must be behind the leader. It is impossible to see where a leader is going if the follower in front of the leader. The follower will have to continually look behind to see where the leader is going. The causes an obstructed view of the path ahead. How can the follower truly know where she is going if she is looking backwards??
Due to the obstructed view of always looking back, the follower will hesitate every step forward. Unsure of where to go…left, right, straight? Confidence is compromised and the feelings of hesitation grow greater and greater.
Once hesitation has reached maturity it can paralyze the follower resulting in a sudden stop. This sudden stop causes the leader and the follower to collide. Frustrating both the leader and the follower.
The sudden stop most often will result in a stumble but can potentially cause a major trip or fall. The follower and the leader may suffer bumps, bruises and delays.
The end result is the follower…who is following from lead position is just plain confused. The follower has no idea where to go or what to do. The follower becomes discouraged blaming the leader for not doing a good job. All the while the follower just needed to change positions.
Question: What kind of follower are you?
For me, well I like to be in control. My independent spirit and desire to have my way can cause me to be a poor follower. However, the most important lesson I have learned from my dog about following from lead position is my stance with God.
Too often I claim to be a follower of Christ, and all the while I am fooling myself. I stand in the lead position of my life claiming faith, hope and the promises of God but deep inside control, fear and pride are really leading me. I look back, hesitate, collide with God, stumble, fall and drown in my own self-inflicted confusion. My heart’s desire is to follow God, but my pride leaves me meandering, second guessing and faithless.
“I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.” Isaiah 57:15.5
God has a sense of humor. I know first-hand because how else could my dog who cannot talk…teach me about my temptation to follow God in the lead position? Today, ask yourself, “What kind of follower am I?” Whether at work, home, in a group or with Christ…we all follow someone…somewhere in our life. It takes courage and humility to be a good follower… Chicken-IN today!
Sincerely with Hugs,
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