Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Little Fellow Follows Me

Last weekend I was in North Kahki-Lacki! Ok... I have actually never heard anyone from North Carolina say that, but I have a friend who swears some people call it North Cacki-Lacki... so, people from North Carolina who might have been offended by that, I'm sorry.


I was in North Carolina last weekend! It was my annual fall visit to the great state. Every time I go down there there are more children than the year before. This year I had the pleasure to meet Daniel.

He, like any child, is a big ole sponge. He loves watching people, repeating what they say, and doing what they do.

I always have fun when I go down there, but I always come back with something learned or a new perspective on something. Sometimes it is simply a reminder of a simple truth that for some reason comes front and center. There is definitely a reason that Jesus always compares things to little children: because they live simple lives. The major reason most people don't live the way Jesus calls them to live is because they have so much going on that they have been trained to think is important that it is impossible for them to live for Christ. When you look at children, they have nothing that is their own, they are dependent on someone else to provide their basic needs, and they just want someone to love.

For years now, I have been teaching other people how to live their lives the way Jesus would want them to. It is crazy to think that I have spent more time, teaching and preparing to teach others how to live their lives than I have looking at my own life. Now I look at my life from time to time, but whenever I am taking in new information or knowledge I commonly am taking it in through the filter of, "how am I going to teach this to someone else." I know this isn't right, but it's true. This brings me to the realization I came to this weekend: other people are watching me live and are trying to live in the same way I am. That isn't an arrogant statement, it is just reality. You have people who are trying to live like you are too. You can choose to ignore that in the name of humility, but it is true.

There are two different questions to ask here, but the problem is they are very different questions which often get confused for the same question. The first is, "Am I following Jesus?" and the second is, "Am I a person I would follow and/or encourage others to follow?" If you can honestly say yes to the first one, then the second should be a fairly easy yes.

The problem is that people think if you can say yes to the second question then you are following Jesus. There are some very good people in whom I would entrust many things, but they are not following Jesus. But that is another topic for another time. I am not here to talk about that, but simply the importance of introspection and looking at whether you are really the person you are trying to be?

Hopefully this poem by the great basketball coach, John Wooden, will help:

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me,
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he'll go the selfsame way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate'er he sees me do, he tries;
Like me, he says, he's going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine
The base in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Through summer's fun and winter's snow,
In building for the years to be
The little chap who follows me!

If I ever think no one is watching me, I am fooling myself.