Follow the [right] leader

from theDesk of…

by William Harfoot, Lt. Colonel –

On a recent evening, Sue and I were out for a walk when a car pulled up alongside us. The man on the passenger side rolled down his window, leaned out and said, “Hello. Do you know where Mother’s Beach is?” He wanted directions from us. We have only lived in our new quarters’ neighborhood for 10 months, yet we must have appeared to know our way around, for a stranger to ask us for directions. Fortunately, I actually did know the location of the beach and easily gave the stranger and his family clear directions.

About a year ago I was in the Lowe’s store near our house in Arlington Heights, Ill., when a woman was asking a customer service clerk for directions to a particular bank. An obvious problem was that the woman seeking directions spoke very little English. Compounding the situation was the fact that the clerk was unfamiliar with the neighborhood—she had no idea where the bank was located. The lost woman did not know the address of the bank and the store computer could not access MapQuest or the Internet white pages.

This morning, I listened to a good sermon at the Long Beach Corps. Major Glen Madsen is a powerful preacher and I can always count on him to provide some helpful spiritual direction. Unlike the family asking directions from a stranger—me—or the woman who spoke little English trying to find a branch of her bank, when I go to the corps I’m seeking a word of direction from someone who has prepared himself or herself to give clear directions for real life.

In his book of the Bible, Luke records a two-question parable in chapter 6, verse 39. He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” When you’re lost, never ask directions from another lost person.

Some people simply offer excuses or reasons why they are lost. Others actually try to enjoy the experience of being lost. Still others believe that the destination can be reached regardless of the course they travel. Their logic is, “It doesn’t matter which road we take; all roads lead to the same destination.”

Jesus often gave clear, easy-to-understand directions. Among those directions are the words, “Follow me.” These explicit words of direction come from one who knew where he was going. We can have great confidence that we are heading in the right direction when we are following Jesus.

By the way, that lost woman at Lowe’s? I took her to the bank. She understood enough to follow me and she was very grateful. I pray that I can likewise lead some to heaven, not by some slick evangelism technique or a sophisticated or complex theory, but by simply letting them walk with me as we both follow Jesus.


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