“I’ll go ahead of you. Just follow me.”
The destination? ... a certain, sure location. Route? ...unknown. Road conditions? ...rural, icy, unpredictable. Climate? ...large flakes of wet snow. Visibility? ...dark, with fog.
Not the best way to travel a few unfamiliar miles in the country, is it? I’m thankful that the driver ahead didn’t go faster than I could manage. He knew my uncertainty and considered my capabilities. As we traveled, I began to experience a rare comfortableness that would not have been felt had those red tail lights ahead been missing. I knew when to turn, when to speed up, when to ease to the right for oncoming traffic, and when to brake. In fact, I had to remind myself at the stop signs that I still had some responsibility to look each way. After all, I was not being towed. It was so easy to think that my guide would do it all.
Jesus also tells me, “I’m going ahead of you, just follow me.” The destination, eternity with Him, is also certain, even though I don’t know the exact location. And the route is quite unpredictable. Life’s roadway has both hazards and clear travel, rough conditions and smooth. The climate swings from mild to stormy, pleasant to not-so-pleasant. And the visibility? Well, things may never get quite as dark as a moonless January night on a country road in Alberta, but whether they do or not, it doesn’t matter. I have a Light ahead of me.
Psalms 119:105 says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
The Living Word, Jesus Christ, says, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Hebrews 12:2 urges, “Keep looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith . . . ”
He isn’t towing me. He takes my hand and moves ahead, bidding me to follow Him. The certainty of the destination and the ever-present guidance of His light is not there to lull me into a laid-back comfortableness, however. I still have some responsibility. My eyes must be open, my “foot on the gas,” and I’m to keep a firm grip on the wheel, responding to each new direction with obedience. I’m not to let His light out of my sight by moving too slow, or getting caught up in the passing scenery and not paying attention. I’m to watch out for the “pot holes” and avoid them, moving to alternate routes.
We sing a chorus in Sunday school, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow . . . ”
Following is not the same as being towed.