Have you ever been on an organised walk? I remember quite a few from my youth.
Walking in a group is different from walking alone or with one other person. There are likely to be people, who prefer to walk quickly and others, whose speeds are slow and stop. Someone is needed to be the back-marker and might need a companion. When they have caught up, the group can continue – although the slowest might appreciate a short breather!
Over-enthusiastic youngsters may overtake the official leader and receive a reprimand. There may be no apparent danger and no fork in the path, but the leader has to go in front for the safety of the whole group. Hopefully this person has prepared in advance, knows the route, is able to set a sensible pace and organise appropriate rests if it is a long hike.
As this post is for publication on New Year’s Eve, I have been thinking about my goals for the year ahead. I am easily distracted and become less focused than I’d like to be on the things, which matter to me the most. I have learned over the years that no human is intended to be a leader. We should all be followers. Even those in leadership positions should be following the Good Shepherd. The Psalms tell us that God is king of all the nations. Psalm 47 is an example.
|Psalm 23 verses 2-3 Images of Grace postcard|
We may have ambitions. These may be selfish or for the benefit of others. While we need to look after ourselves, we can be sure that God will bless our efforts to help others. Even then we need his guidance so that we do not become smug do-gooders.
Sometimes we may find that we are impatient and trying to get ahead of our Guide. Other times we may be reluctant to do what we suspect is the right thing. Or there may be conflicts, where people around us do not agree with our ideas, even when we have prayed about a situation.
I can look back on times when I have ignored a feeling that I ought or ought not to do something and other times, when I have gone out of my comfort zone for the love of another person and been blessed in some small but surprising ways.
My prayer for the coming year is that all of us, who call ourselves believers or disciples, might be faithful followers – especially those of us, who seek to lead others through our writing. May we be inspired!
I pray for a blessing on all contributors to and readers of this blog throughout 2018 and wisdom for the leaders of nations.