Follow the Right Leader

Which one are you?  Are you a leader or a follower?  Do you pretend to be one way, yet actually run the other way?  Are you able to make the decision yourself or do you need to have an army standing behind you in order to do so?  Do your friends call the shots or do you prefer to be the one in control?


Childhood puts these questions to the test earlier than we’d expect them to be.  Every day someone issues a test that will determine whether you can stand alone and be strong or if you need to stand with someone from whom you can draw some strength.  What happens when both of these points are valid in their own right?


I remember the old adage that asks if everyone jumped off the bridge, would you too?  Well, would you?  Just remember it is a long fall and you cannot change your mind once you jump.  All kids have endured this test at one point in their life.  It is here that you decide who you are and what you stand for.  Or so it would appear…


Peer pressure is not pretty I understand that.  We all want to fit in and belong, but at what price does one decide to forgo what they want or believe in just to fit in?  Is it worth it?  Do we want to trust the decisions of others or do we want to place that trust in ourselves and go from there?  Who do we want to trust?


I did not have much peer pressure in school.  Not that I wasn’t challenged mind you.  I just had friends who decided to look after me.  I have no idea what image I conveyed to others that made them react this way.  Part of me is very thankful for those childhood friends.  It was a part of my life in which I struggled with my self-worth and they helped me heal and grow from that struggle.  The other part of me wanted so desperately to stand up for myself and on my own two feet.  Not because I was pressured to be someone I was not, but because I wanted to be capable of making decisions and learning from those choices on my own.  I wanted to be independent, but is that always the correct choice?


I decided I wanted to be my own leader, not a leader.  I wanted to forge my own path and learn all that I could.  I did not yet have the strength to lead anyone, but I had the desire to lead myself down this path.  I wanted to be in control, yet not knowing this was something that was not fully attainable.  We all know that our journey is going to be long and we have to decide how we can navigate through this journey and what we can glean from it as well.  By my choosing to lead myself, I alone would be responsible for any decision I made whether it was a good or poor choice.  I alone suffered the consequences from this.  I strove to walk this alone and not to follow anyone else.  Was this the right choice?  The answer is yes and no…


As I have stated previously I was young and somewhat naive.   Yes, I could stand on my own two feet, but now I needed to progress further down this road and in order to do so, I had to follow the purpose borne from all of this.  It is here I found out that actually I needed to be a follower and not my own leader or any leader… It is good to stand on your own two feet and I applaud all who do. Standing on your own two feet is a good trait, but a leadership role is so much more than this.  It was more than I was capable of.  You need to be fully equipped to handle all of the responsibilities that come with this title.  It takes a lot of time management, the ability to strategize, set goals, and to implement these goals and guide us as we move along.  A leader must possess an ability to manage others for a mutual benefit, not for their own glory.  You need to be strong and capable of putting the needs of others ahead of yourself.  Most of us are not that selfless to maintain this objective.  Most of us put ourselves first and then the needs of others.  A true leader knows the group needs to be united, standing together, not apart.   The group stands behind one cause – one purpose.  As we get older, we realize that the journey has many twists and turns and can become unbearable.  I can choose to stand alone or together as a member of a group and follow a leader who will carry us through this; thus now enriching our journey and ourselves and finding fulfillment.


When I chose to surrender myself to Christ, I chose to follow.  I chose to give up my wants and my desires in order to serve the greater good.  I was not in control and I am glad for that.  Having stubbornly followed my own train of thought for so long and suffering because of it, I decided to step outside of myself and give up that silly notion of my so-called control.  I decided to put my hope into something more.  I decided to give of myself to others for a common goal of honoring Christ.


None of us will ever have all the answers and none of us are in control of our own lives, whether we choose to believe that or not.  Give me someone who claims to be in charge and if you carefully look at them and listen, you will see how deluded they are.  Only fools believe they are wise in their own eyes.  Wisdom is a never ending lesson and just when you think you hold the keys to it, only then do you find out that there is still too much to learn.


Decide who you are and then take a leap of faith and follow that decision.  Would you want to carry all of this weight on your shoulders or be comforted knowing that someone else is carrying this for you?  I gave it all up to Jesus and the road is more manageable and not so winding.   I have a leader who cares for me and guides me down this path.  He provides for me and led me to a community of followers seeking the same guidance.  I found someone in whom I trust and who is always faithful to his word.  I will not sugarcoat this and say everything is easy because the road was never meant to be easy.  However, with him I gain strength, I am able to persevere and to keep on walking until that road comes to an end.  Your heart has to be in this one hundred percent or it will never reap the rewards of knowing him and living for him.  Drop your notion of pride and ego, and offer all of your fears, doubt and anxiety to him.  He made Peter a “fisher of men.”  Discover your purpose.  Receive him and follow him.  Find out what he can make of you.

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