When Follow The Leader Isn’t A Game

I learned a lot about the pecking order when my kids were little.

There was a heart-tug, a desire, to always be with those just a little older.

It was always annoying. To the older children.

That never deterred the younger ones from wanting to do and be everything their older siblings did and were.

Mark would follow Heather. Courtney wanted to be where Melody was. Debbie was Tiffany’s shadow. In each case, the older ones would get exasperated with the persistence of the younger ones.

They didn’t choose to play follow-the-leader.unnamed-4

This weekend I got to see it all over again. But not with siblings. Which made it even more fun to watch.

Heather was caring for Eli, the eighteen-month-old son of her good friend, for a chance for said friend and her hubby to get away overnight. So Eli accompanied the family to the Saturday soccer game.

Which begs the question: When you go to watch a soccer game with young children, what do you end up watching?

Eli immediately found the dirt piles, as most boys do. Attaching as much dirt to his body became his job. And he did it with great delight and a lot of words.

Then he noticed Isley walking around holding Papa’s iPhone. Listening and singing to kid tunes. With motions.

He abandoned his dirt pile to follow Isley. Isley took one look at him with all his grimy glory, held him at arm’s distance and walked away.unnamed-3

Clutching the iPhone. Protecting it.

Undaunted, Eli followed.

Isley walked faster.

Being a hot day, he tired of this after awhile and sat back down in his dirt pile.

Isley saw her chance and sat in Papa’s chair, watching and singing.

unnamed-2It wasn’t too long before Eli noticed her sitting. And joined her.

Much to her chagrin.

Eli climbed up beside her, wanting to watch what she was watching. Of course. Isley tried valiantly to protect the phone. Her space.

Then she gave in.

What made this so immeasurably fun was that, right before the game began, she was following two older girls around the playground by the field. Doing what they did.

Following their lead.

We all have a desire to follow someone who knows where they’re going. Someone who’s going where we think we want to go and seems to have a way to get there.

My problem is that I’ve often followed folks who don’t have a clue where they’re really going.

Sure, they have a great line. They can sell themselves well. They’re popular, for some reason. And I easily get caught up in the hoopla and hype they create.

It’s easy to lose sight of what’s good in the dazzle of hype.

There’s really only One worth following.

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life.’”   John 8:12

There are many who seek my faithfulness as a follower. Politicians. Bosses. People in authority. People who want to gain  a voice, a platform. But only One guarantees a way to make the path clear. A light way. A life way. Not dark and questionable.

I’d follow Him anywhere.





4 responses to “When Follow The Leader Isn’t A Game”

  1. Oh, I can SO see myself in Isley’s, “Leave me alone! Can’t you see that I’m BUSY?!” posture! Leading AND following are hard work… and He needs to direct our attitudes and our actions. It really is not a game. Thanks for the important reminder… AND the darling, perfectly-fitting pictures… brought a smile to my face this morning!


    1. You can’t help but smile at a small boy dressed in dirt! Thanks for your encouragement. This has been an exercise in understanding how stubborn a follower I can truly be.


  2. Blessings as you get John well, Dayle. I too, need to rethink where I place my value – HIS grace or my efforts, because I’m a performance oriented person, as well. [Especially when Curt is sick, ha.] And I’m in agreement with Terry – this ALL is an important reminder – it requires HIS guidance/direction. I’ll follow HIM anywhere! [Also I’m smiling, as well!]


  3. You are a dear continue to encourage me and my heart. Trying to understand the gift of following well–humility, honesty, courage. A work every day. It’s great to know I don’t follow alone.


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