Following the Leader

Mar 11

“I’m the line leader!” I hear this chirped every Wednesday when I go to volunteer at my son’s school.  Usually, I will stay and eat lunch with him on those days.  When the last morsels are eaten and trays dumped, the race is on!  Each student does his/her best fast trot to the cafeteria door to be first.  The first in line.  The quickest one will turn with satisfaction to gaze flauntingly at the unlucky ones to stand behind him or her.  That is until the line leader appears.  
The line leader didn’t rush.  He knew his sacred spot would be there whenever he appeared.  He confidently saunters down the line throwing a smile and a wave, until he reaches the front.  His head turns to gaze at the runner who now stands at the lead, and I know what he will say before he says it.  I can mouth the words as he utters them.  “I’m the line leader.”  And with those four words, he throws down the issue to challenge him.  And no one does, because he is what he says he is – the line leader.  
Why, oh, why is that such a cherished job?  Don’t all of the students arrive at the same destination no matter their place in line?  Perhaps, the first student gets a prize when they return to the classroom.  Maybe the first one can choose the writing topic for the day.  And yet, I know from being a teacher, it is not true.  The only special privilege that comes with leading the line is being first.  No prizes, no treasures, no blessings await the line leader.  
But, wait!  The line leader is a crucial job.  In reading the Old Testament, I’ve realized that being the line leader is monumental to God, too. Over and over, we see Him relaying to the Israelites and anyone else who will listen – PUT ME FIRST!  It’s the first and greatest commandment.  Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.  He wants to be first – first in our lives.  It is important not to be jealous and murder and to remember the Sabbath, but above all of that – He wants to be first.  
Unfortunately, this is also the command we break the most!  When we choose other things or people before God, we might as well tell Him that He is going to be the caboose.  We’ve given a cute name to the back of the line so children will think it is special to be there.  But the cute name doesn’t really change its location – at the back.  
Check a couple of blogs before having a quiet time?  Back of the line, Lord!  I love these new shoes.  Let me buy them even though I haven’t written my tithe check, yet.  Move on back, Father.  I have a new opportunity to do something great.  Let me call and get the collective opinion of seventeen of my closest friends before I go to the Lord to ask.  Christ is the caboose.
Is it hurting you to read this as much as it’s hurting me to write it?
Friends, Jesus is knocking on my brain with a sledge hammer.  PUT ME FIRST!  tap tap tap PUT ME FIRST! tap tap tap  I think I’m starting to catch on.  He wants to be the line leader, and He wants me to follow Him.  God wants to be your forever line leader.  Can you give up the position of honor to One who should be honored?
Father, I know you want to be the line leader in my life.  Help me to remember that you always come first.  No matter what.  No exceptions.  I love you so much, Lord.  I want you to be my everything.  Please make it obvious in my life that you are leading, and I am following, not the other way around.  Use me today, Lord to point others to you.  Amen.

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  • BethAnne Mar 11 at 1:33 pm

    Funny – Jesus is trying to knock the same thing into my thick head as well!

  • Amy Wyatt Mar 11 at 1:55 pm

    OUCH! You could have at least given me a warning last night that this was coming. I have to go massage my toes now.

  • Kim Mar 11 at 3:17 pm

    I found you through Planting of the Lord, and BOY am I glad I did!!!

    After reading your post, I now know why my head hurts!!!! lol

  • Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) Mar 11 at 3:27 pm

    This is so true. How many times do we put other stuff, stuff that is good, before Him?!! I do it all too often.

    If I’m grieved reading this, then I know that HE is grieved by my actions….

  • kmom3 Mar 11 at 5:08 pm

    Well, well, well. Why don’t you just read my mail and then blurt it out to everbody!!! 🙂 You have got me pegged.
    Sigh. I say I want Him to be the line leader, but I know, I bump Him back way too often. Thank you, Carol.
    He has been tappin’ on this thick skull, too. 🙂

  • DeAnna Mar 11 at 6:23 pm

    How many times has He knocked this into my own head??!!! And many times I am doing things “for Him” – you know the type – that busy churchy work that you felt guilted into doing because someone got to you at a weak moment but you were never really “called” to do. All the while He is knocking on that thick brain of mine saying, “Excuse me…. would you please listen…”

  • Cheri Mar 11 at 6:30 pm

    My problem is I always want to be in control. I’m quickly figuring out that does me no good. I relinquish the front of the line. I WILL BE THE CABOOSE!

  • NotJustLaura Mar 11 at 8:25 pm

    Ouch! That sledgehammer’s tapping away …

  • Christina Mar 11 at 11:03 pm

    This was a great post. I never even thought of it this way. Comparing the line leader to the commandment to put the Lord first. It really made me think. Everyone likes being first, why should God be any different. He even has a better reason for wanting to be first then us. I know this lesson will stick with me for awhile.

  • kmom3 Mar 12 at 12:56 pm

    I came back by this morning and realized I got so excited about reading your post yesterday, I forgot to watch the video! Wow. “We’re following the leader WHEREVER He may lead.” I struggle with the “wherever”. I think I push Him on back when His wherever is just not lining up with my wherever. Sigh. You have given me even more to pray about.
    And for that, I thank you!

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