Yesterday I decided to play “Follow the Leader” with my children. It was fun (at first) as I led and they imitated me skipping, running backwards, twirling, and walking around our yard. Then my oldest jumped in front. I let him lead. He led me straight to the slide to jump over. I fell… then, I bowed out of the game.

After I stepped out, the game didn’t last much longer. Soon the five of them started all trying to run to the front to be the leader… all of them… 

So, what did we learn?

We are not good followers. All of us. I, apparently, don’t pay attention very well and hurt myself…

The kids actually did a really good job as followers while mom was the leader. (I have a hunch they’d do even better with dad as the leader, but we won’t go there in this post.) But as soon as the structure changed, they all wanted to lead.

Leaders now… Some leaders have more respect because of training. Others are not good leaders and take people places where they might get hurt… leaders all need to be taught how to lead and think about those who are following them. (In hindsight, I failed my kids by not showing them how to be the leader.)

But probably the biggest lesson- when we all try to lead, the game ends because “Follow the Leader” requires followers not five leaders.

Nothing like a fun playground game to show your true colors- huh?

Sometimes we get to be the leader, but most of the times we need to be the follower. Even as a leader, we must be willing to follow.

But followers, we have to pay attention to the leader, or we are going to fall.

Followers, we have to let the leader lead, or we are going to fail… quit… end the game.

When we follow the correct leader- God, things go well. When we walk in step with Him, life may throw us curve balls, but we still have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

When my kids were following me, they did a good job… ok all but one, who openly said he didn’t want to play, and it was dumb… but you know what- that’s life too.

Some people willingly and happily follow, while others openly state they will not. Sadly, those people who openly state they will not follow influence us more than we want to admit. Sometimes those who follow without a sold-out heart also influence us more than they should. We need to be influenced by followers who happily follow wherever God leads.

The problem comes when try to be the leader over God. He’s a good God, but He will not force His will on you. He will let you try it your way. Just like the Prodigal Son… He loves you enough to let you make that choice to follow Him.

It’s fleeting. Being your own leader, your own boss, is only temporarily satisfying. Jesus, alone, is the living water. He is the only thing that can satisfy. Trust your leader.

I have learned, my way is only ok. His way is WAY better! 

Take-aways- from Follow the Leader:

Follow Jesus.

When you are the leader, still follow Jesus.

As a follower, keep your eyes on the leader and where He is leading you.

Other people’s willingness to follow affects you. Surround yourself with people who follow Christ and will encourage you to do the same.

Let Him be the leader and go where He leads.

Keep your eyes on the prize- eternity with the Lord. Hardships may occur. Life may throw you some curve balls. But God’s love is steadfast. Never changing. Always. Forever. He is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14