Monday, June 20, 2016

You following me?

Those who live right are good guides to those who follow, but wrongdoers will steer their friends down the wrong path.  (Proverbs 12:2 VOICE)

"A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults." (Charles Kingsley)  I doubt there are too many of us who actually want to make someone go down a path where harm awaits them. We might see a particularly calloused and hardened criminal, thinking they have done such atrocious things, but do we want to see them take others down that path with them?  No, we want to turn them away from those choices in order to help them see there is a different set of choices they could be making.  We want to be the kind of friend who will be a "good guide for those who follow".

I saw one of those posts this morning wherein someone was expressing something they felt deeply.  The post simply read: "The person who tries to keep everyone happy and always cares for everyone is always the most lonely person."  Let that one sink in a while.  That individual in your group of acquaintances who is always going the extra mile for another may also be one of the loneliest in your group of acquaintances. It is not uncommon for someone to use "service" (caring acts) to cover over their own loneliness and desire for acceptance. We think they are just "nice people" doing "nice things" for other people.  In fact, they may be very lonely people treating other people in ways they wished others would treat them!

To be a guide another would want to follow is one thing - to be the type of guide another should follow is a slightly different thing. There are lots of idolized individuals in this world, but not all are really living genuine lives dedicated to the principles of grace God gives - so are they all worthy of us following?  No, not really.  They may have some redeeming qualities - I am not saying they don't - but the individual we choose to follow the closest will become the pattern by which we model our actions the closest, as well.  Therefore, it is both important for us to be good examples and to seek out good examples - the first because others are following us, and the latter because we need to be following the right examples ourselves.

A guide is someone who helps another in unfamiliar places to overcome things which might otherwise be something which would bring fright, worry, or even panic.  A guide helps to reveal the meaning or significance of the moment, place, or time one has entered into - not because they have some special "insight", but usually because they have already been there themselves!  In ranching, a goad is used to "guide" stubborn animals along a course which is best for them - such as down the chute leading to the pen where they will receive their vaccinations which will keep them healthy.  As a guide, we nudge, prod, and even "steer" another in a course of direction - not because we know it all, but because we care enough for the well-being of the other to ensure they remain safe and secure.

Live right - be a good guide for another to follow.  You never know whose life you may actually be directing just by being who it is God has called you to be. Just sayin!