Follow the Leader

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If you’ve ever witnessed a mother duck and her ducklings, you know it’s like a perfect game of follow the leader. Your children can watch you follow Jesus as your leader and this will make all the difference.

We are bird watchers and bird lovers in my family, grateful to live in an area where there is often a nest of baby somethings in one of our trees or landscape bushes – mourning doves, Gambel’s quail, even great horned owls. We absolutely delight in them!  The internet has been great fodder for our enthusiasm as well. Recently we were crowded around the computer, amazed by a brood of tiny wood ducks jumping from their nest box to the ground, about five feet below. We asked ourselves why would these miniature creatures so willingly make the human equivalent of a skydive without a fully operational parachute?  As the video progressed we realized it was such an easy answer. To follow their mama.

And if you’ve ever witnessed a mother duck and her ducklings, you know it’s like a perfectly played game of Follow the Leader. Her instruction to them is guided by flawless instinct; it is mistake-free. She teaches them everything they need to know to survive in a harsh world, and they obediently watch and mimic her every move, making all of that vital knowledge their own.

How I wish my own offspring were so fortunate. Alas, their mother’s instinct isn’t guided by flawless instinct, but rather infected by deathly sin. My instruction is imperfect; my lessons have sometimes done more harm than good. I can be impatient, quick-tempered, self-righteous, obstinate, prideful, self-serving, and the list just goes on and on.  Follow the Leader, in my home, isn’t always a game anyone should really be playing.

So I would like my children to know that I wish our game, not just sometimes but every minute of every day, looked like this:

Watch mama die to herself as Christ died for us.  Follow me.

Watch mama love the unlovable as Christ has loved us.  Follow me.

Watch mama forgive egregious injustices as Christ has forgiven us.  Follow me.

Watch mama overflow with gratitude for the life Christ redeemed for us.  Follow me.

But, oh, my sweet boys – I’m sorry that you are not such lucky ducks.  Here is the best I can offer you:

Watch mama submit her weaknesses, her struggling faith, her failures, her pain, her missteps and her regrets – lay them down at the foot of the cross to a Savior who is strong and sovereign and faithful and merciful and good.  Watch mama believe with every part of her soul that It Is Finished. Then watch mama receive and rest in the completeness of His abundant love and compassionate grace. Follow me.

In the remaining years you have in this nest, my precious sons, I pray that you will watch me follow Jesus as my leader, mimic only my obedient moves, forgive my mistakes, and make this vital knowledge your heart’s very own.  Then, stop following me.  You will be ready to thrive in this harsh world if you just follow Him.

 Written by Sonia Cleverly 

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