“I saw something in Mark’s gospel this morning,” Stan began, “that showed me some really good things, along with one not so good.”
“What was that all about?” I asked.
“In one verse that comes after where Jesus told His disciples that they needed to get away for some rest,” Stan said, “there’s a report of what the people did that has an important lesson for me.”
Continuing, he said, “There’s the account that the people saw Jesus and His disciples leaving. Many of the people recognized them and ran to where they were going. Then it says that they got there ahead of them.”
“So?” I responded.
“It seems to me,” Stan said, “the good parts were that the people saw Jesus, that many recognized Him, and that they ran to be with Him.”
“But,” he continued, “the negative that I see as the lesson for me is that they got to where they were going before Jesus did.”
“Running ahead of Jesus,” I replied.
“Exactly,” Stan said. “And that’s the problem I have way too often in my life. I think I know where Jesus is going and I run ahead of Him. Too often the result is that I get someplace only to find that Jesus isn’t there.”
“No,” he concluded, “my role is to follow Jesus, not run ahead of Him. Follow wherever He wants to lead, whatever the cost. None of this running ahead stuff!”
And the people saw them going, and many recognized them, and they ran there together from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. Mark 6:33.
If any one wishes to come after Me, let him . . . follow Me. Matthew 16:24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father for opening me to see you, recognize who you are, and wanting to run to be with you. I confess that too often I run ahead of you rather than following you. Please forgive me. And please help me in following every step of your lead so that I truly follow you, wherever you want to lead and whatever the cost. Help me in not wanting to run ahead of you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you ever run ahead of Jesus, thinking you know where He is going, only to get there and find out you are in the wrong place? If so, what is the solution for that? Is it to follow rather than try to run ahead? What does that look like? Is following possible without first doing the other steps in discipleship? Why or why not?