Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Me and My Shadows

Do you ever feel like someone is following you?  I have that sensation all the time, and usually it is because I AM being followed.  No, I am not paranoid (about that, anyway).  As I walk around the house throughout the day, there are many times when I will have one or two little girls tracking me.  And they are great little detectives.  Their internal radar can hunt me down in three seconds flat, especially if I am enjoying a brief phone conversation or if I happen to be in the powder room.  They really need to come up with some sort of mommy camouflage for those times when we need to escape, breath, and/or count to ten.

As my children follow me around and mentally record every word I say and action I take (for blackmail during their teen years), I rejoice as they imitate the good that they witness, and cringe when I make my many mistakes.  I am going to shock some of you, so hold on to your hats.  I am not perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be.  I am a sinner just like everyone else, and I struggle with anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, and a whole host of other vices every day of my life.  It is difficult to hide these problematic sins from my daughters as they watch everything I do and listen to everything I say.  There are many times when I have to humbly ask their forgiveness for the way that I have acted.  Hopefully, they will continue to be as quick to forgive as they are during this stage of their lives.  But there are also moments when I actually do something right.  And I jump for joy when Eden prays a passionate prayer over her sandwich and grapes or Caroline treats her sister with tenderness and compassion. Thank you, Lord, for helping me be like Christ.

Jesus had people following Him around as well.  When He called His disciples, He said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).  What was the disciples' response?  "Immediately they left their nets and followed him" (Matthew 4:20).  Immediately.  Scripture doesn't say they took a few days to consider all their options.  It doesn't say they went home and asked Mama what she thought was best, or that they tried to tie up all their loose ends before embarking on the greatest journey of their lives.  They just dropped their nets and fell in line.  Was it easy?  Nope.  Just because they were walking with the Author of Life does not mean that everything was coming up roses.  But it was so worth it.  Because of their obedience, they accomplished much for the kingdom of God.

We are not always going to do what is right.  Sometimes we will fall flat on our faces.  But Christ is there, inviting us to repent of our wicked ways, embrace His far-reaching forgiveness, and continue down the path with Him.  Lord, please help me to hear Your call, leave the nets that hold my own selfish desires, and immediately follow You, no matter where You lead.