A fixed gaze
He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. (John 1:43, 46)
One of the most amazing things we see in the life of Philip is this immediate transition from being just one to 'follow' Jesus, to being one who went out and invited others to follow, as well. He immediately went to his friends and acquaintances - telling them about the one he had met, what he was teaching, and just how much they needed to come 'see for themselves'. In other words, he got excited about his purpose!
Too many times we see believers start the journey with such excitement and enthusiasm, but in short order it seems the very thing that 'excited' and 'energized' them so much isn't there any longer. How does that happen? I think it is likely a variety of reasons, but one thing is for sure - God's intent for us is to remain enthusiastic, spirited, and constantly willing to share Christ with others.
Are we all able to learn at the same pace? No, we all learn at our own pace. Christ had those among his followers who saw or heard something and immediately believed it as truth, something they could see done in and through them. He also had those who were a little more 'stand-offish', who needed more 'proof', or simply took a bit longer to 'saturate in the truth' before it really affected their lives. The same is true of all of us - some 'get it' quicker than others, while others 'saturate in it' a bit longer until it finally 'grabs them' and 'takes hold'.
All Jesus ever asked of his disciples is that they be in step with him. That may not seem like a big deal at first, but if you have ever tried to walk in 'lock step' with another for a very long time, you know you can get a bit distracted by what is around you, losing that 'lock step' quite easily. As we learned to march in the military, they told us 'eyes forward' - in other words, fix our gaze on the leader, don't lose sight of him and keep step with the cadence set.
All Jesus asks is for us to keep step with the cadence he desires for us - the one he sets for us as we step out in faith 'with him'. It could be we don't feel as 'energized' and 'enthusiastic' about our walk with Jesus as we once did, but perhaps a fixing of our gaze on our 'leader' once again, while listening carefully to the cadence he sets, will bring us back to the place where we are brimming over with excitement to 'go and tell', 'making disciples of many', and 'bringing hope to the hopeless'. Just sayin!