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I had heard this verse so many times. Probably so have you ….

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NIV)

I had learned from young this refers to a death to oneself; a living for God, even at the cost of our own lives.

But somehow, I had missed the practical everyday application of these words until I read them ….

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat – I am.” (The Message)

My mind flashed back two years ago, when my first granddaughter started pre-school. She was excited to share what she had learned one particular day as the teacher told them about the various “jobs” they may be assigned each week.

“Mimi, the most important job is line leader.”

“Really? And why would that be, Sophia? Tell me about it.”

“The line leader gets to lead everybody to where we need to go. They are first and everybody is behind them.”

And so began the formation when I would pick her up from school – Sophia, in the esteemed position of line leader. Mimi, the lesser – the caboose.

Yes, my job was to bring up the rear.

Not one time, ever, did Sophia turn her head to check that I was in fact, behind her. It was a given. Her job was to lead. Mine was to follow. Plain and simple. Only when we arrived at the front door did she turn to look at me. She was never surprised to discover I was there as she had talked with me the entire length of the hallway. It all worked as we took our places.

Here is Jesus, setting up this same formation. Jesus takes the lead. I am to follow.

Again, plain and simple.

Yet how often I have botched this up, running ahead of Him. How many times I have thought I could take the lead? Or even, do fine on my own?

As I sat thinking in the quiet of the afternoon, it came quickly back to me….

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.”

He leads – I follow. The results are incredible!

  • More strength
  • I bring Him honor
  • No fear
  • He is close beside me
  • I have protection and comfort from Him
  • He prepares me a feast
  • My cup overflows with blessings
  • His goodness and unfailing love pursue me

He takes the lead, not to boss or be in control, or to even take control away from me. He leads for my benefit. Solely for my benefit. Today I am going to do things His way. I am going to let Him lead. I will follow. Or in the words of a pre-schooler:

He will be the line leader.

I will be the caboose.

Today I am joining …. Three Word Wed. and Wordless Wed. and Wed. Prayer Girls and Winsome Wed. and Wedded Wed. and A Little R & R and Whimsical Wed. and Works For Me and Wholehearted Wed. and Words of Life Wed. and Word Filled Wed. and Imperfect Prose  and Coffee for Your Heart .