Follow Me, He Said

Stories come my way every week about people who call themselves “Christian”, perhaps they are regular, bubbly, smiling church attenders, and yet the congruence between how they live and what Jesus taught us about how to live exists only in their minds.

I was going to write another brief essay about my disappointment. And then, I thought, what good would that do?

Most of us are probably just trying to infuse thoughts Jesus left us about how to follow him. After all, when he decided the time was ripe to start bringing people together, his invitation was simply, “Follow me.” He didn’t ask for belief first. No one of his first followers believed (maybe Martha and Mary?). Three years later, they still didn’t believe. That is, until the resurrection, they didn’t believe.

But they all followed.

And they stumbled. And argued. And learned a little. Forgot a little. Were disappointed a little.

Still they followed.

Even though I don’t feel it, I am an old man. I’ve seen many things. Experienced many joys and disappointments. Sometimes I feel like Mark Twain, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”

This is Advent. It’s a remembrance of a time when people were looking for Jesus. But they didn’t know it, exactly. And when they had it, they didn’t know what it was. And when they followed, they didn’t know where they were going–even unto the last days.

Later reflecting on the journey, they realized it was the best days of their lives.

And they shared it.

What can we do but to take that same journey and look back and say it was the best days.

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