How Closely Are You Following?

My very favorite game on my phone is a racing game - I get to go as fast as I want and drive some pretty amazing cars. This is as close to any of them as I will ever be, and it's fun to pass other cars, tap their bumper on occasion and rack up lots of points for my great driving skills.

The only problem is this: I work hard to race my way from the last position up to the front of the pack. I breathe for a moment after passing 20 or so cars only to realize that I'm not in first place like I thought I was. There's usually one car in front of me (sometimes two), and the game shows me exactly who one of them is - Danny. He's raced more and is at a higher level than I am, so he's often way out in front of me and all I can do is follow. That little icon tells me where he is, because often I can't see him, and how far in front of me he is.

My lower level and experience in the game mean that I will not be able to pass him, yet, but I can copy his lines, see how he takes the corners and note where he accelerates and brakes to get a faster time on the lap than mine. I'll take every hint I can get because I want to close that gap a little more every time I play.

It's a silly little game, but this personal experience is what struck me recently while I was reading in the book of Matthew.

The very first words Jesus spoke to His disciples were among the most powerful in Scripture:

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

Jesus could have said anything to them, but His first two words were the essence of His entire ministry: follow me.

He didn't ask them to be fishers of men on their own, as they would learn everything they needed to know by following Him. Jesus wanted them to watch Him, learn from Him and take His words to heart. This was the only way they would be able to fulfill their purpose in life and be all that the Lord wanted them to be. They needed Jesus' example and guidance before they went out in the world. Nothing else mattered except following the path that led to Him.

I pray that each of us will follow Jesus Christ more closely in the days to come than we ever have before. Let's determine in our hearts to listen for His voice telling us where to walk, how to serve and who to reach out to. Following what the world teaches will get us nowhere, but following Jesus with every fiber of our being will bring the sweetest of blessings today, tomorrow and for all eternity.

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