When I was little, just like any other kid, I followed and looked up to those who were older than me. I can remember specific times, going to the grocery store with my mom, just tagging along. We’d walk by the toy section, my eyes would wonder over to see what new toys they had on the shelves. I looked back to find, she wasn’t there anymore. That’s when I began to panic. There I was, with nothing to do but wander aimlessly, looking for my mom. I was lost without her. As I have gotten older, I realize that following not only is useful when you are a little kid, it applies to your entire life.
Throughout my life, I have never been much of a “leader”. In group activities, I tend to let one of the other members take charge. In sports, I’m never the first to get on somebody’s tail if their not doing something right. I have learned through these experiences that this is not such a bad thing. This really struck me when one of my football coaches talked about “following” for his pre-game devotions. He stressed how important followers are in the game of football and life in general. This is what made me realize what I believe.
In everyday life, you have your leaders and your followers. Some would say that we wouldn’t be able to function without leaders. This is true, leading is very important in our society. However, I believe to lead, you must first learn to follow.
A Bible story that always comes to mind when I think of following is when Jesus calmed the storm. The disciples needed to have faith in Jesus, that he would take care of them, and he would not let them drown. Having faith is one of the main keys to being a successful follower.
Sometimes, I just need to take a minute and think about everything the leaders in my life have done for me, especially my parents. It is unbelievable everything they contribute to my life – providing, support, encouragement, and so much more – all for me. Often times, I take for granted everything they do for me, and don’t give them the respect they really deserve. At times, I catch myself in an argument with one of my parents about something as stupid as taking out the trash. And then I think to myself, wait a minute, what am I doing? Why can’t I spare 5 minutes of my life to do something as simple as take out the trash? This is when I become conscious of the fact that being a follower includes obeying and respecting those who lead. So I get up and take out the trash, and in the end, I feel good about it.
I know that someday – it could be very soon – I will become a leader. But for now, I feel perfectly comfortable as a follower.
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