LMKTM: Following the Leader
Joey and Gavin are two years and nine months apart. My normal days consist of two young boys (who more closely resemble a pair of rambunctious lion cubs at times), running through the house and holding my attempts at household organization captive. From their first rising moments until they lay their precious heads down on their pillows at night, these boys are on the go. It’s exhausting, it’s challenging, and it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever been privileged enough to participate in.
From the time he was old enough to be aware that he even had a big brother, Gavin has been in awe of Joey. No one can make Gavin laugh like his big bro, and no one quite inspires him like Joey does, either. As soon as I took notice of this, I found myself stealing glances at them during various times of the day, totally unbeknownst to them. I would watch as Joey would instruct Gavin on what their next task was (for example, block building), and smile when Gavin would all too happily comply.
This was their routine for about a year and a half until something interesting happened. Gavin began to fight back! He was still very much in awe of his big brother, and he still tends to follow him around and take all of his actions as invitations to do the same. And yet, from time-to-time, I’ll hear Gavin’s adamant refusal (generally accompanied by a piercing shriek) to do what it is that Joey is asking of him. It’s like he decided that he didn’t just want to be Joey’s shadow, and instead, found his own voice and the power that using it could bring.
My boys taught me a lesson through their experimentation in role assignments. Gavin was tired of being the follower, so he did something about it: he stood his ground and, in his simple act of refusal, became a leader in his own right (it’s not unheard of now, in fact, for Gavin to be the one to choose the task that the boys will tackle). All-too-often, we find that we’re so caught up in following the crowd, fitting in with the norm, and trying to do what another expects of us, that we hand our God-given agency away to someone He never meant for us give it to. Are we just too afraid to stand up in a world where it’s easier to blend in? Do we fear that if we do try to make a different opinion known, that we’ll face isolation or derogatory labels? The thing is, we may feel safer by blending in with the status quo, but are we really being true to ourselves and our unique calling when we do that?
Today, examine the amount of influence you allow others to have over you. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain people who God has strategically placed in leadership positions in our lives, and sitting under their wisdom is a good thing. It’s only when we realize that we’re allowing any and everyone to become a person of influence in our life, that we truly have a problem. Don’t trade those special select spots of leadership in your life to just anyone. Seek God’s wisdom and let Him guide you into the right times to speak up and take your stand, as well as the right times to submit to another’s authority. Don’t continue to allow someone to lead you, simply out of habit. Make sure that you are letting your God-given voice be heard when the situation calls for it. Don’t just be another mindless follower. Today, allow God to shape you into the leader that we are all called in some capacity to be.
Oh, and what would a post about the boys be without a picture update to go along with it? Look at these handsome guys on this past Easter Sunday: