Hopping easily from one stone to the next, the path across the river seems clear. I slip and nearly fall but quickly regain my footing. Looking up, the next step appears miles away requiring a jump to a jagged rock in flowing water. I could turn around, but I’ve come this far and the destination should be glorious. With renewed concentration, I carefully leap ahead. Finally reaching the other side, I rejoice in the journey and magnificent peace.
Following Jesus is like obedient steps through the river of life. At first, the stones may be close together in a calm, shallow river. We quickly step seeing an obvious path. We keep following, maybe even jumping into unknown waters. But little do we know the next leg of the journey includes raging rapids with unclear leaps.
God doesn’t show us the whole path of our journeys for a reason. If He did, we’d probably quit or never begin; knowing the path could bring uncomfortable leaps of faith, failure, or sadness. But we also don’t see the unspeakable joy and peace experienced either. He just asks us to follow. As we follow, we usually can only see far enough ahead for the next step.
Obedient following is worshipful. It includes fervent prayer, passionate praise and even regret if not following as we should. Penitent hearts are forgiven by an all knowing God and a peace found only in Him results. Sounds a lot like worship to me!
This is following Jesus and His path with abandon. It becomes a worship we live every day. It is deepened by obediently taking those steps, whether smooth and easy or jagged and challenging. It is strengthened by an ongoing relationship with our Savior expressed in daily life, private and public prayer and worship.
I admit I haven’t always lived like this. I often only wanted smooth and easy. Then jagged and difficult came and the only place I knew to look was at Jesus.
He carried me, pointed out each stone and helped smooth the path. On the other side, He comforted and strengthened. Then He asked me to keep following. This time, the path was more unfamiliar. Soon there were large leaps, but with each step or leap, He was with me.
Maybe you have felt God asking you to take a step. Maybe it’s small, maybe it’s a leap. Whatever your next step, trust Jesus. Give Him your attention, don’t look too far ahead or try to second guess. Don’t question or try to be logical, because sometimes following is not logical. Sometimes it’s about taking the proverbial leap of faith.
Take the giant leap.
Pray the impossible prayer.
We may fall or not get the answer we seek. But the act of obediently following God is never a wasted act. In fact, it’s very much like worshipful leaping.
This week I took another big leap with my work at MemoryMinders. It’s an unknown leap, but one I know I’m called to provide. While the path ahead may seem unclear, let’s keep leaping my friends and savor each worshipful moment with our Savior.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.’ ~ Matthew 16:24, NLT