Following In His Footsteps
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24, NRSV)
One of the earliest childhood memories I have is following my dad out to the barn…in the snow. The snow was deep, at least for a very young boy’s short legs. My dad told me to follow in the foot prints he would make in the snow. At first that worked out okay…but then not so well. Maybe my dad’s strides got longer or the snow got higher…try as I might there was just no way I could land in his foot print.
Following my dad that day was a real challenge…a challenge that resulted in getting some cold wet snow in my boots. But in the end it was worth it, to get to spend time with my dad!
Jesus’ has made it clear that his would be followers need to live into self-denial and take up their cross, but there is still more. “Follow me.” It appears that self-denial and cross bearing are pre-requisites for following Jesus. If that’s the case, following Jesus is much more of a challenge than we often tend to make it.
Jesus’s footsteps lead through humble surroundings, temptations, time with people most shun, long days of healing/teaching/serving others, long nights of prayer, being at odds with religious leaders (the good church folk), living in counter-cultural ways, not having much to call his own, and then…there’s Good Friday.
These are the footsteps would be followers of Jesus are called to land their feet in. It’s not something that just happens. It’s not always something that’s easy. But in the end it’s worth it to get to spend time now, and forever, with the Father God!
Your partner on the journey,