Follow The Leader

August 30, 2007
by Lisa McDaniel

Ephesians 5:1 – Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. (KJV)

The big yellow school bus pulled up to the curb, and its tall doors opened. With tears in her eyes, Mom kissed my cheek and helped me up the steps. Eagerly, I looked forward to my first day of kindergarten.

When the bus arrived at school, we were led inside. The classroom's colourful walls, posters, and chalkboards fascinated me. Our teacher, Miss Ruth, placed us in groups of five, with a leader. Then she explained our daily routine and gave us a tour of the school. As the day progressed, I became more comfortable — school wasn't so scary after all.

Following lunch and a nap, Miss Ruth led the class to the playground. After watching us swing, slide, and climb the monkey bars, she announced that we were about to learn a new game: Follow The Leader. The instructions were simple — imitate your leader's every move. If he jumps on one foot, you jump on one foot. If he quacks like a duck, you quack like a duck.

After a day of laughter and lessons, I returned home. "How was your first day?" Mom asked. "Did you like your teacher? What did you learn?"

"I had fun, and my teacher is so nice, but I'm afraid I didn't learn much."

"You will, darling. Give it time."

She was so right. In time, I noticed many similarities between grammar school and kindergarten. For one thing, grammar school also had groups with designated leaders, but students chose their groups without teacher direction.

In high school, those typical childhood cliques remained the same: jocks ran the halls with authority; nerds always had their noses in books; rebels skipped class often, and so on. The only thing they all had in common was a need of leadership and a sense of belonging.

After experimenting with several cliques, I still felt like an outcast, confused and lost, until I noticed a group of smiling classmates. They seemed content, not having to mingle, yet displaying an inviting atmosphere. Curious, I introduced myself and noticed they weren't studying a schoolbook, but the Bible. I felt a growing need to become part of this group, so unlike the external desire to be popular.

Recognizing my inner struggle, a girl in the group asked, "Do you know Jesus Christ?" I was puzzled. How was she able to see into my heart? Listening to her explain His promise of eternal salvation, I felt a lifelong struggle within my soul coming to an end. At that very moment, I invited Jesus into my heart and joined this body of believers.

Having discovered my true Leader, my life now had purpose. I realized other groups I'd joined had no destination. What I had truly been searching for has always been there, waiting for acceptance.

As we mature, our walk with God is dictated by the rules of that kindergarten game: focus on your Leader, and strive to imitate Him. Daily, we become more Christ-like by never forgetting to "Follow The Leader".

Prayer: Saviour, we pray for strength to continue following You — no matter where the path leads. Help us not to be led astray by yielding to temptation. May each step lead us closer to eternal life with the one and only true Leader: Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Lisa McDaniel
Oxford, Mississippi, USA

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