After hearing from my friend, Mary, yesterday about what happened when she was following a white truck (see my previous post, “Who Are You Following?”), I later noticed a white truck in my rear view mirror that was following me too closely.  He could have gone around me, but stayed right on my bumper down a major road until I turned off.  Being followed reminded me of Mary’s message yesterday and made me realize we need to not only think about Who (or who) we’re following, but also about who is following us!

Whether we realize it or not, we’re being watched, observed, evaluated and ‘followed’ every day.  Who is following you?

If I’m a parent or I’m around children, then children are following, and they take in everything!  They notice  details about the physical things they see and behaviors they observe.   They notice who smiles or frowns; who has friendly eyes and who looks mean, grumpy or scary; who is respectful and who is rude; who makes them feel good and who doesn’t.  If children are following, what do they see? What kind of example is being set? I don’t want to lead them astray!  “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone around the neck.” (Matthew 18:5-6)

Co-workers or peers might be following.  Are they seeking a role-model or someone to look up to?

The person following could be a neighbor, an acquaintance, or someone from a distance.

When we first started attending our church we were still relatively new in Charlotte and didn’t know many people.  I didn’t know any of the people who sat around us in church, but I started recognizing familiar faces each week.  Soon I found myself ‘following’ some of those people.  I didn’t know their names and hadn’t met them.   I just observed them from a distance.  In their own ways they inspired me so I ‘followed’ them.

We do that, don’t we?  We look at people around us – other parents, people we work with,  our neighbors, people we observe while they’re doing their jobs, and even strangers we encounter through our day.  So doesn’t it make sense that if we ‘follow’ others, that others might be ‘following’ us, too?  If so, how are we leading them?

Are we setting a good example?  More importantly, as Christians, are we Christ-like in our words and deeds?  What kind of behavior are we modeling for others?  Remember…children are watching, so are co-workers, friends, family, and even strangers.

Am I a large white truck that knowingly runs red lights and, consequently, might lead others into dangerous or deadly situations?  (Referencing the situation  in yesterday’s post.)  Or do I drive responsibly and respectfully, considering the well-being of others and myself?  What’s at risk for those who are following me?  What responsibilities does that put on me?    Jesus warns against tempting others in sinful ways…How terrible it will be for anyone who causes others to sin.  Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting.”  (Matthew 18:7)   Am I leading in the Way?

These thoughts take me back to Mary’s message yesterday, for if others are following me, Who (or who) am I following?

Father God, Please help me keep in step with You and to follow You closely, for others might be following me.   Some might follow right on my bumper.  Others might follow from a distance and I might not even know they’re there.   You are the Way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)  I want to follow in Your Ways.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.